February 8, 2024

Trump's Effort to Have Carroll Case Thrown Out for Mistrial Denied

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Donald Trump's request for a mistrial in the E. Jean Carroll case following a jury's verdict last month awarding Carroll over $83 million.

Trump's legal team contended that Carroll's deletion of threatening messages, including death threats, warranted a mistrial. In a 30-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan stated that while Carroll admitted to deleting some alleged death threats, the specifics of the deletions remained unclear.

Judge Kaplan determined that Trump's attorneys failed to establish that any missing messages would have bolstered his defense, a prerequisite to proving prejudice from Carroll's deletions.

Neither Trump's nor Carroll's attorneys immediately responded to requests for comment on Wednesday. Kaplan highlighted that Trump's legal team had known since January 2023 about Carroll's deletion of emails, information she reiterated during her initial trial testimony last year.

Trump's lawyers did not pursue this matter further by bringing it to the court's attention or attempting to recover the messages.

Kaplan emphasized that Trump presented no evidence of any effort to retrieve the deleted messages, nor did he argue that they were permanently lost and irrecoverable.

Kaplan stated that this failure alone justified denying Trump's motion for relief. Additionally, Kaplan noted that the jury had already considered testimony regarding the disposal of electronic communications during the trial, with both sides arguing their interpretations of Carroll's actions.

Kaplan highlighted that the court had provided appropriate instructions on the matter, and the jury had reached its verdict accordingly, making a mistrial unnecessary.

This decision by Kaplan follows his previous denials of mistrial motions during the trial. Last month, a New York jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million in damages after finding that Trump had defamed her.

In a separate verdict last year, another jury found Trump liable for sexually assaulting Carroll in the 1990s.

The ongoing conflict adds to legal battles against the former president as he seeks his comeback bid for the White House in November.

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