In a recent development, Donald Trump’s attorney has once again called for a mistrial in the New York defamation case against the former president. The lawyer, Alina Habba, contends that the case was tainted when the accuser, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, deleted emails containing death threats from strangers, thereby compromising the trial.
Habba emphasized that Carroll’s trial suffered a setback when it was revealed that she had actively deleted social media messages containing death threats. According to Habba, Carroll not only failed to take reasonable steps to preserve crucial evidence but also engaged in the deletion of evidence that she now seeks to rely on to establish her damages claim.
This mistrial request was initially made during Carroll’s testimony, with Trump present alongside his attorney. However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan promptly denied the request without providing any comment.
Habba underscores the significance of these deletions, asserting that Carroll’s legal team has highlighted the death threats attributed to Trump’s statements about Carroll as a key factor for the jury to consider when awarding damages. The lawyers are urging the jury to grant Carroll $10 million in compensatory damages, along with additional punitive damages.
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It’s worth noting that this trial solely focuses on damages, specifically related to two statements Trump made as president in June 2019 after learning about Carroll’s claims published in a magazine article. These claims were extracted from Carroll’s memoir, revealing her initial public accusations against Trump.
In a compelling detail, Habba points out that Carroll, aged 80, testified about her fear when she first received a death threat, describing a moment when she ducked, convinced she was about to be shot. Meanwhile, Robbie Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll unrelated to the judge, chose not to comment on the mistrial request.
In a separate development, both sides have submitted written arguments at the judge’s request regarding whether Trump’s lawyers can argue to the jury that Carroll had a duty to mitigate any harm caused by Trump’s public statements.
Habba urges the judge to instruct the jury that Carroll had an obligation to minimize the impact of the defamation she endured. In response, Robbie Kaplan contends that such an argument should be barred, as it was already presented in the opening statement, and insists that the jury be informed that Habba’s assertion was inaccurate.
Looking ahead, the trial is set to resume on Monday, providing Trump with an opportunity to testify after Carroll’s legal team concludes presenting their case. The courtroom drama continues, unfolding the intricacies of this high-profile defamation lawsuit.