At the beginning of a civil trial on Tuesday, the judge in the rape lawsuit against former President Donald Trump urged attorneys to prevent their clients and witnesses from making public remarks that may incite violence.
Nine jurors who will consider whether Trump raped former Elle magazine advice writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room in the middle of the 1990s then defamed her by denying it occurred were cautioned by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan before being seated.
Later on Tuesday, the opening comments were slated to start in federal court in Manhattan. One to two weeks are predicted for the study.
From his admirers to his detractors, Trump has always stirred up strong emotions.
Before the jury members started asking questions, Kaplan instructed the attorneys for Trump and Carroll to caution their clients and witnesses from saying anything that may “incite violence or civil unrest.”
In a post on his Truth Social website from October 2022, Trump, 76, termed Carroll's rape accusation a “hoax” and “complete Scam.” He also claimed that she fabricated up the meeting to promote her novel and remarked that she was “not my type!”
Carroll, 79, is requesting an undisclosed amount in compensation for what she claims to be extreme anguish, long-lasting psychological impairment, and breach of privacy.
She referred to a recent state legislation in New York that allows adult sexual assault victims a year to file a lawsuit against their alleged perpetrators, even though the statute of limitations has long since passed.
Carroll's complaint is one of several legal actions and investigations against Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president in 2024. As witnesses talk about Trump's alleged sexual misbehavior, which he denies all of, it might be politically detrimental.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said he will run for re-election on the same day the trial started.
Trump was not present at the trial and was not obligated to be there. His willingness to testify was also doubtful, according to counsel on both sides.
THE JUDGE REQUIRES JUROR ANONYMITY
To protect them from possible intimidation by Trump fans, Kaplan is keeping the jurors' identities a secret from both the public and the attorneys.
In fact, he advised the jury not to communicate with one another using their true identities.
He informed the panel, “If you're ordinarily a Bill and you're picked for the jury or even before, you may be John for a few days.
Several potential jurors were disqualified by the court because they said they could not assess the case properly.
To assess prejudice, he probed deeply.
They included things like whether potential jurors agreed with Trump that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and if they believed the #MeToo movement, which Carroll has claimed spurred her to come forward, would compromise their objectivity. None claimed to.
Since Carroll initially accused him of rape in June 2019, the former president has regularly assaulted her in public and in private, calling her names and even even claiming she was mentally sick.
TRUMP, ACCORDING TO CARROLL, CALLED HER “THAT ADVICE LADY”
Carroll said that in late 1995 or early 1996, she met Trump in the Bergdorf Goodman shop.
She said Trump acknowledged her, referring to her as “that advice lady,” and asked for assistance in purchasing a present for another woman.
Carroll said that Trump then “maneuvered” her into a dressing room, pushed her up against a wall, took down her tights, and then entered her.
After two to three minutes, she claimed to have gained freedom.
The 2005 “Access Hollywood” video, in which Trump made obscene, explicit remarks about women, was anticipated to be played for the jury.
Carroll's lack of calling the police, her silence in the media for more than two decades, and her inability to recall the day or even the month of the alleged assault may be used by Trump's attorneys to cast doubt on Carroll's veracity.
TRUMP CONFRONTS OTHER LEGAL PROBLEMS
Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, is accused of paying a porn actress hush money, among other legal issues that Trump is dealing with.
Three minutes' walk from the trial on Tuesday, Trump entered a not guilty plea to the charges on April 4 in a New York state courtroom.
The previous leader also confronts
* Civil fraud allegations brought against his namesake firm by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
* An investigation of possible meddling in Georgia's 2020 presidential election.
* A criminal investigation into top-secret government records found at his Mar-a-Lago home.
* Enquiries regarding his involvement in the assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in each of these situations.
Trump first refuted Carroll's accusation of rape in June 2019, when he was still in office, and she is now suing him for defamation. The Kaplan hearing in the case is still ongoing.