The former Elle magazine columnist claims she was sexually assaulted by Trump in a New York department store in 1996. Trump has denied the allegation, calling it a “complete scam.” Carroll, 79, has already won a second case against Trump over comments he made after leaving the White House. In May, a jury in New York found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation and ordered the former president to pay him $5 million in damages.
Trump tried to delay the first defamation lawsuit by saying he should be granted immunity because he made the comments while speaking to the media in his capacity as president. At first, the Justice Department agreed with this view. But on Tuesday, her representatives cited the jury’s verdict, Trump’s October testimony and new allegations by Carroll that the former president defamed her again with comments he made during an appearance on CNN the day after the verdict was delivered. They said the new evidence suggests Trump “was motivated by personal grudges” related to events that took place many years before his presidency, according to the New York Times.
The decision leaves Trump, 77, legally exposed to further damages in the lawsuit and forced to rely on his own legal team rather than government assistance as a former president. Steven Cheung, Trump’s spokesman, said the move showed that Joe Biden’s Justice Department is “politically arming the justice system” against Trump. Carroll is seeking $10 million in damages for the first lawsuit. A new trial in this high-profile case is scheduled for January 15, 2024.