Trump is continuing to add on to his increasing stack of lawsuits


Seth Wenig

E. Jean Carroll and her lawyer Robbie Kaplan leaving court after the verdict.

This story discusses sensitive and possibly triggering topics such as rape and sexual assault.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been involved in over 4000 legal cases from 1980 to 2016. 

The most recent of these cases was the E. Jean Carroll v. Donald Trump case. This started in June 2019 when journalist and author E. Jean Carroll published an article in the New York Magazine that Trump had sexually assaulted and raped her in 1995 in the dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman Department Store. Trump denied the allegations, claiming he had never met her before, and in November 2019, Carroll sued him for defamation.

The trial began on April 25 in New York, and Trump never made an appearance in court. Trump can’t be prosecuted for the alleged rape because the statute of limitation has passed, but Carroll sued him for $5 million on the grounds of defamation and battery. His lawyer was Joe Tacopina, who has represented Trump in multiple cases.

Carroll claims that while in the dressing room, Trump manhandled her and then sexually assaulted and raped her. She said this hindered her ability to develop relationships, and she wanted to clear her name (NBC News). Trump presented no defense and stated that the trial was a “political attack.” 

Carroll’s lawyer, Robbie Kaplan, made the claim that Carroll told only the truth, and the fact that Trump didn’t bother to show up only further proved that. Kaplan noted that although Trump claimed that Carroll was not his ‘type’, he confused a photo of her for his ex-wife Maria Maples and only corrected himself once his lawyer pointed it out. Kaplan called Trump a “witness against himself” after he cited his repeated admissions and lies in his deposition in the case.

Kaplan called Trump a “witness against himself” after he cited his repeated admissions and lies in his deposition in the case.

The evidence presented during the trial against Trump included testimonies from Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin, who both claimed that Carroll had told them about the incident shortly after it occurred. A photograph of Trump and Carroll together in 1987 was also submitted as evidence, along with the testimonies of Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds—who had both previously accused Trump of sexual assault. Footage from the Trump Access Hollywood where he says, “When you’re a star, you can do anything you want [to women],” and he further backed up those remarks in the deposition he gave in the E. Jean Carroll case.

Dozens of women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, but this is the first case to be tried in front of a jury. The jury, made up of six men and three women, found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, and he is to pay $5 million. The jury, however, did not find that he raped her.

Tacopina says that they plan to appeal and claims that even if Trump had testified, the outcome would’ve been the same. Trump has called the verdict a “disgrace,” and Tacopina claims they were going to lose either way with a New York jury.

Will Trump be able to hold up against these charges in the presidential election in 2024? Or will voters see this as the last straw in his ever-increasing stack of lawsuits?