A federal judge dismissed President Donald Trump’s defamation lawsuit against former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, ruling on Monday. The decision stems from a countersuit filed by Trump in June, following a grand jury verdict in May that found him liable for defamation and sexual assault against Carroll, who had publicly accused him of raping her in the mid-1990s.
Trump alleged that Carroll defamed him in a CNN interview after the jury found him not liable for rape. However, the judge ruled that her remarks were “substantially true” as the jury concluded Trump “digitally” penetrated her, an act that doesn’t meet New York’s legal definition of rape, but constitutes “rape” in common language, according to Judge Lewis Kaplan.
Carroll’s legal team expressed satisfaction with the ruling, as it means that the upcoming January 15th jury trial will be limited to a few issues. Carroll is seeking additional compensatory and punitive damages based on Trump’s original defamatory statements made in 2019. Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, disagreed with the ruling and announced plans to file an appeal.
In a separate order, Judge Kaplan permitted Carroll’s lawyers to provide the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a videotape and transcript of Trump’s deposition against Carroll. The deposition could be used in an investigation of Trump for allegedly falsifying business records related to payments to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump’s legal team’s request to block the subpoena was reported, and their request for a mistrial in the Carroll defamation case was also rejected by the judge.