Former President Donald Trump and E. Jean Carroll.
Trump attacked E. Jean Carroll even as her second defamation trial against him began.Her lawyer urged jurors to “make him stop” by imposing monetary damages.”Carroll had taken on the most powerful man on Earth, and she won. And even that didn’t stop him,” her lawyer said.
As E. Jean Carroll’s second trial against Donald Trump began on Tuesday morning, the former president didn’t relent.
On his Truth Social account, Trump continued to attack Carroll, calling the case a “witch hunt” and a “hoax” — even as a jury last year found he sexually abused her and defamed her by lying about it.
“Can you believe I have to defend myself against this woman’s fake story?!” he complained to his followers Tuesday morning.
In Carroll’s opening argument Tuesday afternoon, Carroll’s lawyer Shawn Crowley urged jurors to impose monetary damages for the harm he caused Carroll with his statements, and to deter him from continuing to attack her.
Crowley didn’t suggest a specific dollar figure for the jury to impose against the billionaire in their verdict. But she asked that the number be big enough to “make him stop.”
“How much money will it take to make him stop?” she said. “Because he hasn’t stopped.”
Last year, in a separate trial, a jury in the same downtown Manhattan federal courtroom concluded that Trump sexually abused Carroll in a department store in the mid-1990s, as she alleged. They also reached a verdict that he defamed her when he lied about it. In all, the jury said Trump should pay Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The second trial, which kicked off Tuesday, is over a two separate statements Trump made in 2019, in which he also called Carroll a liar.
While the current trial centers on just these statements, Trump has continued to disparage Carroll.
The day after the May 9, 2023 verdict, Trump appeared on a CNN town hall discussion, and called Carroll a “whack job.” He dismissed Carroll’s account of having been violated by his hands as “hanky panky.” He repeated his denials again in June and July. He picked it up again in October, and yet again in the week leading up to the trial.
“Ms. Carroll had taken on the most powerful man on Earth, and she won. And even that didn’t stop him,” Crowley told jurors.
On Tuesday, Trump ramped it up. He criticized Carroll in the morning and in the evening, as the snow fell in Manhattan and as it was cleared from the streets. By the time Crowley gave her opening statement, Trump’s Truth Social account had posted about Carroll 22 times on Tuesday alone.
He was still going when the jury left the courtroom later in the day, calling the case “THIS HOAX.”
“It’s time to make him pay dearly for what he’s done,” Crowley told jurors. “Make him pay enough to finally stop him.”
Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, in turn described Trump’s attacks as the best thing that ever happened to Carroll.
“Her career has prospered, and she has been thrust back into the limelight, as she always wanted,” Habba told jurors in her opening statement.
“She went on talk shows. She did interviews,” Habba said. “She has gained more fame, more notoriety.”
Carroll’s career was “dwindling” at the time she wrote the book that accused Trump of rape, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” Habba said.
Now, after winning her last lawsuit, Carroll wants still more “millions” from Trump, Habba said, and all because, “some people online said something mean to her.”
Habba added, “she wants President Trump to pay her for the mean tweets.”
Carroll “doesn’t need to repair her reputation,” Habba added. “She likes her new brand” as an “anti-Trump figure.”
Carroll is expected to take the stand on Wednesday.