Donald Trump responds to Joe Biden’s fall. Image: Wikimedia

Donald Trump set to testify in defamation case

Donald Trump is poised to take the witness stand, marking his first appearance in a defamation court case.


Donald Trump responds to Joe Biden’s fall. Image: Wikimedia

Donald Trump could testify Thursday in a defamation court case, his first appearance since winning New Hampshire’s primary and drawing closer to a seemingly inevitable election rematch with President Joe Biden.

Far from hiding his multiple legal problems, Trump has turned courtroom sessions into quasi-campaign events, claiming that each trial is part of a Democratic establishment attempt to prevent his return to the White House for a second term.

ALSO READ: Biden wins US auto union backing, in boost against Trump

Writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking more than $10 million in damages for defamation by Trump in a federal court in New York, which has the power only to impose a civil penalty, not a criminal conviction.

The 77-year-old Trump — whom a jury found liable for sexual assault in a separate federal civil case in New York — has previously indicated he would seek to testify this time around.

Trump separately faces a number of criminal cases, including his alleged attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden, and a civil fraud case.

ALSO READ: Trump rallies in New Hampshire amidst legal drama

Attacks on Carroll

The former Republican president unleashed an extraordinary battery of attacks on Carroll, using his Truth Social platform to smear her and deny the veracity of her evidence over the course of 37 late night messages.

Carroll, 80, alleges that Trump defamed her in 2019, when she first made her assault allegations public, by saying she “is not my type.”

ALSO READ: Trump surges ahead in New Hampshire primary

‘Complete con job’

Last week when asked about how the comment damaged her reputation, Carroll said “previously I was known simply as a journalist, and now I’m known as a liar, a fraud, and a whack job” — quoting insults leveled at her by the 2024 White House hopeful.

There were tense moments in court as Carroll testified just a few rows from where Trump sat.

Carroll’s legal team complained that Trump was making audible comments about her testimony and that jurors could be influenced, CNN reported.

The judge asked that Trump lower his voice when conferring with his legal team, and later threatened to throw him out altogether.

Testimony was due to resume on Monday but was delayed after a juror reported Covid symptoms, and Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba was exposed to the virus.

ALSO READ: Trump seeks to secure Republican presidential nomination

Last year, another federal jury found Trump liable for sexually assaulting Carroll in a department store dressing room in 1996 and subsequently defaming her in 2022, when he called her a “complete con job.”

Trump was in court while he campaigned ahead of the New Hampshire primary, which he won handily over his only remaining challenger Nikki Haley, as he closes in on becoming the Republican candidate in the November election against Biden.

© Agence France-Presse