Trump Lawyer Alina Habba Assails Judge Over $83 Million Outcome in E. Jean Carroll Slander Trial

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Historic Verdict in Trump Defamation Case

Alina Habba, legal counsel to the former US president Donald Trump, launched a scathing attack on District Judge Lewis Kaplan following a damaging verdict in a defamation trial initiated by E. Jean Carroll. The result announced this Friday dictates that Trump must pay a substantial sum of $83.3 million, comprising $65 million in punitive damages and $18.3 million in compensatory damages, for allegedly defaming Carroll in retaliation to her sexual assault allegations dating back to the mid-1990s.

Underlying Controversy

Carroll, once a columnist for Elle magazine, made allegations of rape against Trump, who in turn refuted these claims, dismissing them as a “hoax” and stigmatizing Carroll as a “liar”. In May 2023, a separate defamation trial held Trump accountable for sexual misconduct and defamation, awarding a verdict of $5 million. Included in the breakdown was $2 million for sexual misconduct, $1.7 million for damages to reputation, and $1 million for malice and defamation-related injuries.

Prosecution Objections and Actions by the Judge

Trump’s attorney, Habba, expressed doubts about the censoriousness of the trial, claiming that Kaplan prohibited crucial expert witnesses from giving evidence, thereby obstructing the defense’s capacity to challenge key components of Carroll’s allegations. Kaplan’s stern warnings throughout the proceedings, noting that Habba could be held in contempt for interruptions, and the expulsion of Trump for purported disruptions further intensified the courtroom dynamics.

Claims of Manipulating Interrogatories and Planned Appeal

Remarkably, Habba asserted that the judge amended her cross-examinations and the responses Trump was permitted to give before Trump testified. Despite the adverse verdict, Habba is unyielding and anticipates an immediate appeal. She imputes the result to what she deems as partisan political manipulation, affirming that the decision by the New York jury is part of a larger “witch hunt” directed at Trump.

Conclusions and Unfolding Legal Scrutinies

The $83.3 million verdict is a serious monetary setback for Trump, augmenting the obstacles he confronts in the aftermath of his term of office. As the legal conflicts unfold, uncertainties surrounding the fairness of the trial and wider ramifications of the verdict remain. The lawsuit not just signifies the cavernous divide in public view vis-à-vis Trump, but also draws attention to the intricacies and controversies that high-profile legal disputes involving political leaders invariably entail.

Elijah Muhammad