Jury Selection Begins in E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Against Trump

Jury Selection Begins in E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Against Trump

On Tuesday, jury selection began in the federal trial for a civil lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a New York writer who alleges that former President Donald Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. The trial will determine whether Trump will be held liable for the alleged rape and defamation against Carroll.

Jury Selection Process

Out of the initial pool of 48 prospective panel members, ten potential jurors were dismissed after they stood in agreement with a question posed by Judge Lewis Kaplan. He asked, “Is there anything about the nature of this case or the parties that would make it difficult for you to give a just and impartial verdict?” None of the would-be jurors said that the fact that Carroll went public with her allegation more than 20 years after it allegedly happened makes her less credible. Nine people have been chosen for the jury so far, and opening arguments could begin later on the same day after the full jury is seated.

The Trial and Trump’s Legal Troubles

Carroll is suing Trump under a new New York law that for one year allowed complainants in sexual misconduct cases to bring civil claims that would normally be time-barred by the statute of limitations. Trump has denied Carroll’s claim that he raped her after a chance encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman department store. He is also being sued for allegedly defaming her last October by saying her story was a hoax. Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, has told the judge that the decision on whether Trump will appear at the trial will be made on a day-by-day basis.

Trump is currently under criminal investigation by federal authorities in connection with his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss, and his retention of government records after leaving the White House in early 2021. A state prosecutor in Georgia is considering whether to criminally charge him and his allies in their attempt to undo his 2020 election loss in that state. Trump was also arraigned in Manhattan state court on a 34-count criminal indictment accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with a 2016 hush money payment to a porn star by his then-lawyer shortly before the presidential election that year. He is the first former president to face criminal prosecution.

The trial will take five to ten days, and the jury will remain anonymous. Jurors will be picked up by court marshals at an assembly point and driven to court every day and taken back to that point at the end of the day. The judge told the jurors not to use real names when they are with each other. Prospective jurors were asked during the selection process if they knew Trump, Carroll, their attorneys or potential witnesses. None of the jurors indicated they knew any of the parties.


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