Trump attends defamation damages trial stemming from E. Jean Carroll lawsuit, after winning Iowa Caucuses

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Former President Trump sat in a New York City courtroom Tuesday as part of the civil defamation damages trial stemming from E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit claiming he sexually attacked her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.

Trump traveled to New York City late Monday night after dominating the Iowa caucuses and solidifying his place as frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

EXCLUSIVE: TRUMP TO APPEAL VERDICT IN E JEAN CARROLL CIVIL CASE, SAYS HE HAS ‘ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA’ WHO SHE IS

E. Jean Carroll, center, walks out of Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in New York. A jury has found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing the advice columnist in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a judgment that could haunt the former president as he campaigns to regain the White House. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Trump plans to testify in his defense.

“I should be in New Hampshire, campaigning and fighting for our Country, and I will be later today, but for now I had to spend time in a Federal Courthouse with a Trump Hating, Radical Left Judge, on a case that is another politically biased WITCH HUNT — ONE DAY AFTER IOWA, AND JUST AHEAD OF THE IMPORTANT NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY,” Trump posted on his Truth Social account Tuesday. “THIS HOAX, WHICH THE ‘BULLY’ JUDGE CHOSE TO HAVE AS TWO TRIALS INSTEAD OF MERGING INTO ONE, IS A DISGRACE, AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. His former Law Clerk(?) is on the other side.”

Trump left New York on Tuesday afternoon to hold a rally in New Hampshire, where he said “a BIG crowd is waiting. MAGA!!!”

Trump clapping

Former US President and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump applauds at a watch party during the 2024 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024.  (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The second trial comes after a federal jury in New York City decided in May that Trump was not liable for rape but was liable for sexual abuse and defamation. The former president has been ordered to pay $5 million.

Carroll, 79, alleged that Trump raped her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan sometime in 1996. According to Carroll, the two had a chance run-in at the store, where Trump was shopping for a gift for “a girl.” She said he asked for her advice, and the two shopped together before he pushed her into a dressing room and assaulted her.

TRUMP CANNOT ASSERT PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY IN E JEAN CARROLL DEFAMATION LAWSUIT, APPEALS COURT RULES

Trump vehemently denied the allegation, and his denial resulted in Carroll slapping Trump with a defamation lawsuit, claiming that his response caused harm to her reputation.

Trump and his legal team insist that Carroll’s allegations are fabricated, with the former president’s initial reaction including an accusation that Carroll was motivated by wanting to sell copies of her book.

Carroll in New York

E. Jean Carroll (C) leaves following her trial at Manhattan Federal Court on May 8, 2023 in New York City. Attorneys for E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump gave closing arguments in the battery and defamation trial against the former president.  (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

In an exclusive interview just after the jury delivered the verdict, Trump told Fox News Digital that he has “absolutely no idea who this woman is.”

“This verdict is a disgrace,” he told Fox News Digital at the time. “It is a continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in history.”

The former president told reporters last week that he plans to testify in his defense in the current trial, saying he will “explain I don’t know who the hell she is.”

Carroll, 80, plans to testify about the damage to her career and reputation that resulted from Trump’s public statements. She seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and millions more in punitive damages.

Trump pointing up

Former President Donald Trump speaks at his caucus night event at the Iowa Events Center on January 15, 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowans voted today in the state’s caucuses for the first contest in the 2024 Republican presidential nominating process. Trump has been projected winner of the Iowa caucus.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Last May, a different jury awarded Carroll $5 million after concluding that Trump sexually abused her, then defamed her in 2022 by claiming she made it up after she revealed it publicly in a 2019 memoir. The jury said Carroll hadn’t proven that Trump raped her.

Trump, on his Truth Social account Tuesday, posted images of Carroll’s tweets dating back to 2015. In one image, Carroll wrote: “How do you know your ‘unwanted sexual advance’ is unwanted, until you advance it?”

Trump also posted that Carroll “has been ‘all over the place’ on the timing of this alleged ‘incident,’ which never took place, and is being coached by Lunatic Radical Left Democrat operative attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who has sued me before, and just lost.”

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“I am the only one who has been injured by this attempted EXTORTION,” Trump posted.

Nine jurors were selected for the trial, which Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said is likely to last three to five days. Testimony will begin Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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