(trendingpoliticsnews) – A federal judge has ruled that a defamation trial brought by E. Jean Carroll against former President Donald Trump may proceed just days before Republican primary voters begin hitting the polls.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan pegged January 15th, 2024 as the day for Carroll’s civil trial to proceed. Carroll claims Trump made defamatory statements about her in the days after a court decision awarding her $5 million in civil damages over a disputed sexual harassment case against Trump.
JUST IN: Judge Kaplan has set E. Jean Carroll's next civil trial against Trump for Jan. 15, 2024, unless it's resolved before then. pic.twitter.com/zMFJA1RAqI— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 15, 2023
The latest legal development for President Trump now puts pressure on his attorneys to reach an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiff in order to stave off the negative publicity that might impact the president’s performance in early-voting states.
The origin of Carroll’s latest lawsuit stems from comments Trump made in 2019 claiming her allegation of rape was false. During the latest proceedings, Judge Kaplan allowed Carroll to include statements made by President Trump during his CNN town hall in which he said, “This woman, I don’t know her, I never met her, I have no idea who she is.” Trump also referred to Carroll as a “whack job” who was committing “election interference.”
In a statement following the verdict, Trump’s attorney said, “We maintain that she should not be permitted to retroactively change her legal theory, at the eleventh hour, to avoid the consequences of an adverse finding against her.”
Carroll’s civil case against Trump will now run alongside two criminal cases alleging wrongdoing by the 45th president during his campaign and following his time in office. On Tuesday the former president was arraigned in Miami on 37 counts of mishandling classified documents and obstruction of justice. Just months ago he was indicted on state charges by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for allegedly directing a $130,000 hush money payment to an adult film star to settle rumors of an affair just days before the 2016 presidential election.
President Trump has steadfastly maintained his innocence on all counts in all cases, adding during a speech in Miami that the “witch hunt” against him persists as Democrats rally behind a weak incumbent who remains vulnerable according to the latest polls.