E. Jean Carroll, a writer, began testifying in a civil trial on Wednesday against former US President Donald Trump. She claims that Trump raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. Carroll took the witness stand in Manhattan federal court after Judge Lewis Kaplan warned Trump’s lawyer not to mention issues that could damage Carroll’s credibility. Trump had posted on social media, mentioning the issue of whether a dress Carroll saved from the day of the alleged attack contained DNA material that could be linked to him. The other issue relates to her lawsuit against Trump being funded by Reid Hoffman, a major Democratic donor.
Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, informed Judge Kaplan about Trump’s social media posts before the first witness took the stand. Judge Kaplan suggested to Trump lawyer Joseph Tacopina that the former president could face new legal action for his posts. Trump denies raping Carroll and defaming her, stating her claim is a hoax. During an interview with CNN, Trump said she had changed her account of the alleged attack.
In his first Truth Social post on Wednesday, Trump called the case a “made-up scam” and accused Carroll’s lawyer of being a political operative financed by a big political donor. Trump also referred to an interview Carroll gave to CNN about the lawsuit, claiming she had changed her story. Judge Kaplan ruled later that day that Trump’s lawyer could not present to jurors information about Hoffman funding Carroll’s lawsuit, saying it was not relevant to her claims.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office also requested the state court judge bar Trump from publicly using some of the evidence in a criminal case against him. Trump has been accused of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels. He has pleaded not guilty in that case and denies having sex with Daniels.
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