Donald Trump is asking a federal court to order a new trial in the civil caseOr to minimize the damages awarded to her by a jury that found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation.
Lawyers for the former president argued in a filing Thursday that the $5 million ruling was “extremely excessive.”
Carroll accused Trump of attacking her in a department store changing room during a chance encounter in the mid-1990s, and then defaming her after she made the story public in 2019.
Trump’s lawyers argued in the new filing that the $2 million award was excessive because the jury did not find him responsible for the rape.
Trump denied assaulting Carroll and claimed her story was fabricated. She testified that they walked amiably through the store, joking over light conversation, before Trump shoved her against a wall, banged her head on it, and penetrated her forcefully with his hand and his penis.
Trump’s lawyers claimed the $2.7 million in defamation damages was based on “speculation” about how many people had seen a defamatory social media post by Trump in which he denied the allegation. The suit also alleges that the remaining punitive damages for defamation were awarded “without due process.”
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement to CBS News that Trump is trying to argue that Carroll “doesn’t deserve” the damages awarded to her, “even if he did those things.”
“Trump’s arguments are petty,” Kaplan said. “The jury carefully considered the evidence presented by Ms. Carroll, and Trump did not produce a single witness himself. This time, Trump will not be able to get away with the consequences of his actions.”
Carroll’s lawyers argued during the eight-day trial that her allegations against Trump fit with what they described as “Trump’s modus operandi.” In addition to the witnesses who said Carroll family them after the incident, the jury heard two other women who described Trump suddenly turning casual encounters into sexual misconduct. Also, watch the “Access Hollywood” video from the 2016 campaign, in which Trump can be heard describing the crudeness of grabbing women by their genitals.
Trump also appealed the ruling and continued his vehement denial of the allegations. Carroll amended a separate defamation lawsuit, previously filed, seeking at least one. It claimed that comments made by Trump in a televised town hall — the day after the jury’s hearing — were also insulting.
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