Donald Trump earlier this year was found liable for defamation and battery against E. Jean Carroll. The former president responded to the verdict by continuing to bash the writer who accused him of raping her in a department store dressing room, prompting her to sue him again. Trump filed a defamation counterclaim against Carroll in June — which a federal judge dismissed on Monday.
Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the order dismissing the claim that Trump had failed to prove that the statements Carroll made following the verdict in May were “not at least substantially true.” Carroll told CNN that Trump “did” rape her, as she claimed, after the jury found Trump liable for battery but stopped short of ruling that Carroll proved Trump raped her.
“There is no merit to Mr Trump’s argument that the jury’s finding on Penal Law ‘rape’ question established that Ms Carroll’s statements were false even if her statements reasonably could be construed as referring to ‘rape’ in that specialized Penal Law sense, a subject on which this Court now expresses no view,” Kaplan wrote in dismissed Trump’s counterclaim.
The verdict in May, which Trump is appealing, was the result of a lawsuit filed in late 2022 under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. Trump is still scheduled to go on trial in January for the defamation suit Carroll filed in 2019.
“We are pleased that the Court dismissed Donald Trump’s counterclaim,” Robbie Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll, said in a statement. “That means that the January 15th jury trial will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn’t take very long to complete. E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019.”
Kaplan also ruled on Monday that Carroll’s lawyers can give Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg a video of the deposition they took from Trump last year. Bragg issued a subpoena for the video a month after he indicted Trump on criminal charges stemming from hush money doled out to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
Trump tried to block the subpoena to no avail.
The E. Jean Carroll case is, of course, only a fraction of the former president’s legal troubles. He’s been criminally indicted by Bragg, for falsifying business records and twice by the Justice Department for his handling of classified documents upon leaving the White House and for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is widely expected to indict Trump sometime this month for meddling in Georgia’s election results.
Trump has claimed he’s done nothing wrong and that the various probes are part of a Democratic conspiracy to keep him from winning the 2024 election.