A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Donald Trump is civilly liable for defamatory statements he made about the writer E. Jean Carroll in 2019 when she went public with claims he had raped her decades earlier.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, as part of that ruling, said that the upcoming trial for Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump will only deal with the question of how much the former president should pay her in monetary damages for defaming her.
Normally, a jury would determine at trial whether a defendant is liable for civil damages claimed by a plaintiff.
But Kaplan found that Carroll was entitled to a partial summary judgment on the question of Trump’s liability in the case.
He cited the fact that jurors at a trial in a separate, but related lawsuit in May found that Trump sexually abused Carroll in a New York department store in the mid-1990s, and defamed in statements he made when he denied her allegation last fall.
Carroll’s lawyers argued, and Kaplan agreed, that the jury’s verdict in that case effectively settled the legal question of whether Trump had defamed her in similar comments he made about Carroll in 2019…..