Former US President Donald Trump attended the first day of a $10 million defamation trial filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll, fresh from his victory in the Iowa caucuses. Carroll had accused Trump of sexually abusing her in the mid-1990s, and Trump had labeled the incident a hoax. The trial aims to determine if Trump's defamatory statements harmed Carroll and, if so, the amount of compensation he must pay.
The trial, which began on Tuesday, follows a previous jury trial last May that found Trump had sexually assaulted and defamed Carroll. The new trial considers the relevance of those findings. During Tuesday's hearing, Trump, seated a few rows behind Carroll, claimed he had "never met, saw, or touched" her and remained quiet.
Carroll, facing towards the bench, did not appear to look at Trump. Shawn Crowley, one of Carroll's attorneys, emphasized the jury's role in determining "how much money Donald Trump should have to pay for what he's done." Carroll accused Trump of unleashing his followers to threaten her life.
Despite being in court, Trump's official account on Truth Social posted over two dozen posts on Tuesday, dismissing the case as "PURE FICTION." Carroll is expected to testify on Wednesday, and the trial is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, with Trump allowed to testify on January 22, according to Judge Lewis Kaplan.
(With Agency Inputs)