The jury has ruled that Mr. Trump is required to pay $83 million as a result of defaming columnist E. Jean Carroll.

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Former President Donald Trump has been ordered by a New York jury to pay a total of $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll for damaging her credibility as an advice columnist. The jury awarded Carroll $65 million in punitive damages, $11 million for reputation damage, and an additional $7.3 million. It is highly likely that Trump will appeal the verdict.

Although the penalty amount is significant, the verdict was not surprising. Judge Lewis Kaplan had already ruled before the trial that Trump had defamed Carroll. The jury’s task was solely to determine the amount Trump owed her, not his liability. This is the second time Trump has been ordered to pay Carroll, as he was previously mandated to pay $5 million for a separate defamation incident.

In response, the Trump 2024 campaign released a statement claiming, without providing evidence, that the trial is a “political weapon.” The statement expressed strong disagreement with both verdicts and announced plans to appeal, referring to the trial as a “Biden Directed Witch Hunt” targeting Trump and the Republican Party.

The jury’s decision comes shortly after Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary, solidifying his position as the GOP front-runner. This case is one of several legal battles involving Trump, including an ongoing civil trial where he may be required to pay at least $250 million to New York state for fraudulent business practices. Additionally, there is a possibility that he may be barred from conducting business in the state where he gained prominence as a real estate mogul. Overall, Trump is facing a total of 91 charges in federal and state trials, ranging from those in New York to those related to the January 6 Capitol riot at the federal level.

In the year 2019, Carroll, a columnist providing advice and a freelance writer, made an accusation against Trump, alleging that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. This accusation, which she detailed in her book, was initially previewed in an article published by New York magazine. Following the release of the article, Trump responded to reporters with two statements, one of which outright denied her claim and stated that she was “not my type.”

Subsequently, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, contending that his remarks had tarnished her reputation as a reliable source in the media. She argued that his comments had led to a barrage of insults, threatening messages, emails, and comments on her social media accounts.

During that time, Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr, impeded the progress of the lawsuit by asserting that Trump had made those comments in his official capacity as the president. As a result, the lawsuit remained entangled in the court system for several years.

However, in 2023, the Justice Department under President Biden reversed its stance and permitted the defamation lawsuit to proceed. This decision was influenced, in part, by a previous ruling in 2023 that held Trump accountable for the assault. Consequently, Judge Kaplan determined that Trump had indeed defamed Carroll in 2019 and held the former president liable for his actions.

Carroll herself took the stand as the first witness, directly facing Trump, who attended the initial days of the trial.

Carroll testified that she felt as though her world had come to an end when Trump called her a liar. She used to receive numerous emails seeking advice for her column, but now she only receives less than 10 a month. Instead, she receives threats and insults. Carroll’s lawyer presented the jury with various social media posts, messages, and emails that were sent to her after Trump’s statements.

“I filed a lawsuit to restore my reputation,” Carroll stated.

However, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, argued that damages should not be attributed directly to Trump. Habba also presented the jury with several social media posts that were made during the five-hour “gap” between Carroll’s allegations being published and Trump’s comments.

Habba also focused on the praise and support Carroll received for her accusation and questioned her motives for suing and deleting threatening emails.

After weeks of promising to testify in his defense, Trump finally took the witness stand on January 25th. However, his testimony was brief, lasting only a few minutes.

During his testimony, he reaffirmed that he fully stood by his previous deposition. When asked by his lawyer if he ever instructed anyone to harm Carroll, Trump denied it and stated that he only wanted to defend himself, his family, and his presidency.

In addition to his testimony, Trump was present for several days of the trial and publicly commented on the case outside the courtroom.

On the first day of testimony, Judge Kaplan reprimanded Trump for making comments while Carroll was on the stand. Carroll’s lawyers raised concerns that they could hear him, and the jury might as well. Kaplan warned Trump that his right to be present could be revoked.

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