Donald Trump slams the door in full pleadings, deliberations begin

Donald Trump’s second civil defamation trial ends as it began: with a court transformed into political theater. The former American president slammed the door in the middle of the hearing on Friday, while the plaintiff’s lawyer launched into her final argument.

The jury then retired at 1:40 p.m. (7:40 p.m. in Paris) to begin deliberating. While Donald Trump’s civil liability was already established last year during a first trial – both on the sexual assault of E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and on defamatory comments in 2022 – jurors must this time simply establish the amount of damages for similar comments that Donald Trump made in 2019 when he was president. The ex-columnist is this time demanding a minimum of 10 million dollars, after having obtained 5 million during the first trial. A verdict which Donald Trump appealed.

“Mr Trump left the room”

As lawyers for both sides began their closing arguments, the tempestuous businessman suddenly got up from his chair and bounded out of the courtroom in Manhattan’s civil federal court, according to an AFP reporter . However, he remained within the courthouse grounds. Judge Lewis Kaplan could only note that “Mr. Trump just got up and left the room.” While a legal advisor to Donald Trump was about to do the same, the magistrate ordered him to remain seated.

The lawyer for plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, Roberta Kaplan, (no relation to the judge), had just said that the former president had “continued throughout the trial to defame” her client.

“A FALSE Monica Lewinsky story”

At the end of the morning, Donald Trump had posted around twenty messages on his Truth Social platform once again accusing E. Jean Carroll of having put together “a FALSE Monica Lewinsky story” – named after the House intern scandal. Blanche who almost took away President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s – and “sought to EXTORT” money.

On Thursday, the ex-president briefly defended himself at the trial but his freedom of speech was strictly limited by the judge to avoid any verbal slippage. He simply indicated with a “yes” that he had made the remarks targeted by a first complaint in 2019 against accusations of rape that had just been launched, for the first time publicly, by E. Jean Carroll in a book. “She said something that I considered to be false,” Donald Trump said.

The trial that began on January 16 is coming to an end, and the jury’s deliberations should logically be short. If a verdict is not reached by the end of the afternoon, deliberations will resume on Monday.

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