(GoRealNewsNow.com) – The frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, has been hurt by a new legal ruling after a federal judge decided he was liable in a defamation lawsuit filed against him by feminist author E. Jean Carroll.
On Wednesday, Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, restricted the latest defamation trial to determining how much the 77-year-old former president would have to pay 79-year-old Carroll.
“The […] decision is a major defeat for Trump in the case,” The New York Post comments in a report.
The judge ruled that Trump’s 2019 allegation that Carroll had invented fake abuse accusations against him “to get publicity” was a lie.
Kaplan’s ruling cited the May 2023 verdict by a Manhattan federal jury in a separate lawsuit that Carroll filed against Trump for allegedly raping her inside Bergdorf Goodman in New York City in the mid-1990s.
The jury at the time found the 45th president of the United States liable for sexual abuse and defamation and decided that he should pay the accuser $5 million in damages.
Carroll’s second lawsuit against Trump is based on his 2019 statements that her rape story was a hoax.
“[The] jury found that Mr. Trump knew that his statement that Ms. Carroll lied about him sexually assaulting her for improper and ulterior purposes was false or that he acted with reckless disregard to whether it was false. Whether Mr. Trump made the 2019 statements with actual malice raises the same issue,” Kaplan wrote in his legal filing, as cited by National Review.
He added that the jurors in the first lawsuit discovered the “preponderance of the evidence” proved that Trump sexually abused the feminist author in the Fifth Avenue department store in the mid-1990s.
“[The jurors] determined by clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Carroll did not fabricate her sexual assault accusation,” the judge emphasized.
Kaplan’s ruling also snubbed the former president’s request to set a limit to the potential second damages award due to the $5 million he was ordered to pay in Carroll’s first lawsuit.
Thus, in his order, the judge made it clear that the guilty verdict in the first Carroll lawsuit against Trump would determine the outcome of her second lawsuit, whose trial is scheduled for January 15, 2024.
That also happens to be the date of the Iowa Republican Caucus vote, National Review points out.