Questions have been raised over whether Donald Trump could be prosecuted again after he mocked and insulted former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll a day after he was ordered to pay her $5 million. dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for sexual assault and defamation.
The former president made the comments during his CNN town hall appearance, returning to the network for the first time since 2016 to take questions from moderator Kaitlan Collins and an audience of GOP voters in New Hampshire. Wednesday evening.
Ahead of the broadcast, CNN was criticized for giving the 2024 candidate – who is still under investigation for allegedly instigating the Jan. 6 attack and attempting to overturn the 2020 election results – a prime time slot.
Some have expressed fears Trump will use his CNN appearance to attack Carroll, with the town hall coming a day after a New York jury ruled the former president sexually abused Carroll at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1960s. 1990, then had defamed her while denying the charges.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club in West Palm Beach, Florida on April 4, 2023. Questions have been raised about whether Trump could be sued again after mocking and insulting E. Jean Carroll a day after he was ordered to pay her $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages for sexual assault and defamation. Alex Wong/Getty Images
As feared, Trump insulted Carroll when asked about the jury’s decision in the civil trial, which saw the former president ordered to pay him $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
“It’s a fake story. A made up story,” Trump said Wednesday. “I have no idea who she is. It’s a shitty job.
“What kind of woman meets someone and brings them up, and within minutes you’re panky in a dressing room?” said Trump, prompting laughter from the audience.
Legal experts and political commentators have now suggested that Carroll could bring a new libel suit against Trump over his latest comments.
“I hate that CNN has allowed E. Jean Carroll’s name to be dragged through the mud again by this terrible man. Of course she could sue him again for defamation,” tweeted attorney and former manager Sherrilyn Ifill. -attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational. Funds.
“It doesn’t change the pain and humiliation of the laughter and the fact that CNN was willing to expose her to it,” she wrote.
I hate that @CNN allowed the name of E. Jean Carroll is again dragged through the mud by this terrible man. Of course, she could sue him for defamation again. It doesn’t change the pain and humiliation at the laughter and the knowledge that CNN was willing to expose her to this.
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@SIfill_) May 11, 2023
MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin wrote: “Tonight I felt like I was watching a bad law school exam pattern unfold. And now I reflect on the effect exclusive, if any, of yesterday’s verdict on Trump’s defenses to any new claims by E. Jean Carroll or just elements thereof (e.g. false libel prong)
“And the other pressing question: would Trump be the only defendant?
Olivia Troye, who served as Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence, said: ‘Still processing what happened in that CNN Trump town hall …But one moment was particularly awful…and E. Jean Carroll should sue Trump again.”
However, former assistant deputy attorney general Harry Litman played down suggestions that Carroll should launch a new libel suit against Trump.
“A lot of questions about [whether] Carroll can sue again for further libel. Yes, and it would be interesting to do so and keep adding numbers,” Litman tweeted. “But I doubt she will: she can claim vindication now, and why rock that boat? Plus its damage [would] date only new IE defamation very small.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office and Carroll’s legal team for comment via email.
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was also condemned by CNN for allowing Trump to attack Carroll.
“There is simply no way for CNN to feign ignorance that they set up a sexual assault victim to be targeted and attacked on national television a day after the verdict. “, she tweeted. “People were sounding the alarm about that exact scenario. They let it happen anyway without a plan.”
In a statement, a CNN spokesperson said: “Tonight, Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist. She asked tough, fair and revealing questions. And she followed and fact-checked. of President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as a Republican frontrunner.
“That’s CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
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