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Trump lawyer vows to appeal verdict that E. Jean Carroll calls a ‘great victory’: Highlights

Former President Donald Trump attended today's closing arguments briefly before storming out of court. He was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

What to know about E. Jean Carroll’s defamation damages case:

  • A New York jury reached a quick verdict awarding E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages in her suit that former President Donald Trump defamed her.
  • Trump stormed out of the closing arguments, leaving the courtroom while an attorney representing Carroll spoke. He returned to hear his own attorney speak.
  • After the verdict, Trump called it "absolutely ridiculous" and said an appeal was forthcoming. Carroll called the verdict a "great victory."
  • A jury found Trump liable last year for sexually abusing Carroll in a New York department store in the 1990s and defaming her after she wrote about the incident.

After only several hours of deliberations, a federal jury in New York returned its damages verdict against Trump, ordering him to pay Carroll $83.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages for defaming her. The case stems from Trump’s defamatory comments about Carroll after she accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s.

Carroll calls verdict a 'great victory'

In a statement tonight, Carroll celebrated the verdict by calling it a "great victory."

"This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down," she said, before going on to thank her attorney.

Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement that the verdict shows no one is above the law.

"Today’s verdict proves that the law applies to everyone in our country, even the rich, even the famous, even former presidents," the attorney said. "There is a way to stand up to someone like Donald Trump who cares more about wealth, fame, and power than respecting the law."

Kaplan also thanked the jury and praised Carroll for "standing up to a bully."

Trump lawyer Alina Habba says they will appeal the verdict

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Trump lawyer Alina Habba said they would “immediately” appeal today's verdict.

In response to a reporter’s question about whether she was having second thoughts about being Trump's attorney, Habba said representing him was "the proudest thing I could ever do."

Habba also said Americans were seeing a "violation of our justice system," and criticized not being able to bring up certain points in court that she said were part of Trump's defense.

After her remarks to reporters, Habba tweeted: "This is far from over."

"We are just getting started," she added on X.

Carroll departs courthouse flanked by her attorneys

Carroll paused for photos with her attorneys outside of the courthouse before her departure around 5 p.m.

She did not appear to answer shouted questions from reporters.

Trump calls verdict 'absolutely ridiculous'

Trump posted his reaction to the verdict on Truth Social just minutes after it was announced, saying that he would move to appeal.

"Absolutely ridiculous!" Trump said. "I fully disagree with both verdicts," adding that he will be appealing the decision and blaming Democrats for the civil lawsuit.

He went on to argue that the legal system was being used as a "political weapon" and argued that "they have taken away all First Amendment rights."

"This is not America!" he wrote in all caps at the end of his post.

In a subsequent post, Trump said: "There is no longer Justice in America. Our Judicial System is Broken and Unfair!"

Here's how the jury's verdict breaks down

Here's a breakdown of the jury's $83.3 million verdict:

  • $7.3 million in compensatory damages outside of the reputation repair program
  • $11 million in compensatory damages for a reputation repair program only
  • $65 million in punitive damages

Trial adjourned

The trial was adjourned at around 4:45 p.m.

The jury has awarded $83.3 million in damages

The jury has awarded a verdict of $83.3 million to Carroll.

Jury has returned

The jury is back in the courtroom and a verdict will be read shortly.

The jury has reached a verdict

The jury has reached a verdict in the Carroll case after less than three hours of deliberation. 

Trump leaves courthouse

Trump has left the courthouse as the jury continues to deliberate.

Jury form released while deliberations continue

A copy of the verdict form was released to reporters while the jury continues deliberations.

The form lists the three questions the jury is required to answer, with first being whether Carroll "suffered more than nominal damages as a result of Mr. Trump’s publication of the June 21 and June 22, 2019 statements."

Underneath, if the jury answered yes, it is required to put an amount Trump owes Carroll both for compensatory damages other than for the reputation repair program and compensatory damages for the reputation repair program only.

The second charge asks whether in making his June 21, 2019, statement, Trump "acted maliciously, out of hatred, ill will, or spite, vindictively, or in wanton, reckless, or willful disregard of Ms. Carroll’s rights."

The final question for the jury is whether if in making his June 22, 2019, statement, Trump "acted maliciously, out of hatred, 2 ill will, or spite, vindictively, or in wanton, reckless, or willful disregard of Ms. Carroll’s rights."

For the second and third question, if answering yes, the jury must also put an amount for punitive damages Trump should owe Carroll.

Judge cited the Constitution while instructing the jury

Prior to sending the jury off to deliberate, Kaplan cited the Constitution in his instructions.

"The Constitution begins with these words … 'We the people of the United States,'" Kaplan said.

Kaplan said that this court has been functioning since 1789, the "first court under the Constitution, even before the first section of the U.S. Supreme Court."

"You stand in for all of the people … a vital role," the judge added.

Judge tells counsel to stay close by

The judge has finished giving the jury instructions and has asked both Carroll and Trump's lawyers to stay close by as they await a decision.

Kaplan said that if the jury does not decide by 4:30 p.m. today, the court will break for the day.

The jury began deliberating at 1:40 p.m.

Judge give the case to the jury and deliberations begin

Now Trump — and everyone else — must wait for the jury to deliberate and reach a verdict.

Trump listens to the jury instructions in the courtroom

Trump is seated with his hands in his lap in the courtroom as the judge tells the jury how to go about reaching a verdict.

He has a frown on his face and he looks to be slumped over in his chair.

Jury instructions continue

The judge continues to give the jury instructions.

Closing arguments have concluded

Closing arguments have concluded in the case. The judge will now give instructions to the jury.

Carroll's lawyer calls out Trump team to start rebuttal

Carroll's lawyer Shawn Crowley rose to give a rebuttal after the defense's closing argument, pointing to Trump's and his lawyers' behavior in court.

"I will follow the rules of this courtroom, which Mr. Trump and his lawyer don’t seem to know how to do," Crowley said.

Crowley went on to say the defense has "completely misstated the facts."

"He [Trump] lied and defamed her over and over again, and that has been proven. He did those things, and yet his attorney says it is her fault," Crowley said.

Habba and judge clash over free speech

After Kaplan interrupted one of Habba's statements to the jury, she told them that "in our country, you have the right to speak." The judge replied, "You have a constitutional right to some kind of speech and not others."

Defamation is considered an exception to First Amendment protections.

Trump lawyer Habba concludes arguments

Habba has concluded her closing arguments for the defense.

Trump takes to Truth Social outside the courthouse during closing arguments

After walking out of the courtroom earlier this morning, Trump posted two dozen times on his Truth Social account as closing arguments for his defense began.

Several of the posts include articles that Trump seemingly wished to have had included in the trial, highlighting negative allegations toward Carroll.

Trump also posted attacking Kaplan, calling him a "Clinton-appointed" judge who "has so far been unable to see clearly because of his absolute hatred of Donald J. Trump (ME!)."

The former president argued that because he is so well known, he couldn't do anything without it "being written about on Page Six."

"I have been considered an A-List celebrity for many decades, so even decades ago, since no one knows which date or dates to refer to, because the accusing woman can’t say the day, month, season, year, or decade," Trump added.

Trump continued to argue that the defense was not able to enter everything they wanted into evidence, calling the trial a "hoax."

The judge has repeatedly reminded Trump and his lawyers that the questions of fact Trump continues to dispute were settled in the first trial.

Judge tells Trump's lawyer: 'You will not quarrel with me'

When Habba continued to imply that Carroll lied about the assault for fame, the judge replied that "the fact that Mr. Trump sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll is established." When Habba pushed back, the judge reprimanded her, saying "You will not quarrel with me."

Defense says Trump has no control over the 'free speech' of social media users

Habba continued to draw the blame away from Trump in her closing argument to instead point to the social media users who tweeted threats and harmful messages toward Carroll.

Habba argued that as there was a five-hour gap before Trump made his first statement against Carroll, wherein she said tweets were already being posted by users calling the writer a liar, it was not Trump's responsibility that Carroll had received those messages.

"It wasn't because he wanted them to, he did it because they thought her story wasn’t credible and think she is a liar," Habba said.

"This is the beauty of free speech in America," Habba added. "He has as much control of social media users as he does the weather."

Judge objects to Habba's denial of the assault and insults of Carroll

Habba's closing got off to a rough start with Kaplan objecting to her twice and warning that further violations of his orders would bring "consequences."

The first objection came when Habba claimed that the reason Trump has continued to deny the assault after being found liable was because it was "the truth" and the second came when she said that Carroll's account had "more holes than Swiss cheese," which prompted his warning.

Defense begins closing argument

Habba, Trump's attorney, has begun her closing argument for the defense.

Trump returns to courtroom for defense closing

Trump has returned to the courtroom for the defense's closing arguments. He left during the closing arguments by Carroll's lawyers.

Court takes 10-minute break before defense's closing arguments

The court has taken a 10-minute break. After it returns, lawyers for Trump will present their closing arguments.

Carroll's lawyer uses his claim that Mar-a-Lago is worth $1.5 billion to justfiy damages

Carroll's lawyer explained her proposed figure for damages she is seeking by citing Trump's claims that his Florida resorts are worth billions.

Trump "is a very wealthy man," she said, noting that he has said he is personally worth $10 billion, that Mar-a-Lago is worth $1.5 billion and his Doral property is worth $2.5 billion.

The defense team objected to that part of her argument but was overruled.

During Trump's civil fraud trial, he has repeatedly offered similar figures to defend himself against New York Attorney General Letitia James' allegations that he inflated his net worth and the value of his properties.

Trump's lawyer objects to proposed damages

In their closing, lawyers for Carroll presented an estimate for damages based on a model made by Northwestern University professor Ashlee Humphreys that ranged from approximately $7 million to $12 million. Habba objected to these numbers, but Kaplan overruled and instructed the jury that they were "judges of the facts."

Humphreys was also an expert witness in the defamation trial of Rudy Giuliani, in which he was ordered to pay $148 million to two former Georgia election workers.

Carroll's lawyer: Trump thinks 'the rules don’t apply to him'

Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who’s not related to the judge, told the jury that Trump is a liar who thinks “the rules don’t apply to him.”

“Ms. Carroll did not make it up, the sexual assault happened and his denials were all complete lies,” the lawyer said.

After Trump walked out, the lawyer told the jury “he thinks with his wealth and power he can treat Ms. Carroll how he wants and will suffer no consequences.” Trump, who’s called Carroll “sick,” “mentally ill” and a “wack job," among other insults, “can’t attack her just because he feels like it,” Kaplan said.

Read the full story here.

Trump reiterates denial of allegations in Truth Social video

In a video posted in the early hours today, Trump reiterated his denials of the allegations against him, calling the trial "a scam" and a "political witch-hunt."

Many of the statements in the video were things that he was prohibited from saying in his testimony yesterday. The video ended with instructions to donate to his campaign.

Judge tells Trump's lawyer to sit down after Trump exits courtroom

After Trump left the courtroom in the middle of closing arguments, Kaplan told Trump's attorney Boris Epshteyn to "remain seated."

Trump walks out of courtroom during closing

Trump walked out of the courtroom during Carroll's lawyer's closing arguments in which her lawyer Roberta Kaplan directly criticized his actions during the trial saying that he "spent the entire trial continuing to engage in defamation".

Kaplan noted the incident in the record.

Jury enters after a late start

The jury was brought in after a late entrance from the defense.

Kaplan said the jury will hear closing arguments from both sides this morning, set to last between two and three hours total. He said he expects the jury can deliberate during lunch later this afternoon.

Today's proceedings off to a rocky start

In a tense exchange over entering some social media posts into evidence, Kaplan told Habba that she was "on the verge of spending some time in the lockup" and told her to "sit down".

Kaplan instructs courtroom to refrain from talking during closing argument

Kaplan gave instructions before closing arguments, including those present to refrain from "interruptions or audible comments" during lawyers' remarks. Trump has been reprimanded several times for speaking while others were presenting.

Closing arguments begin in Carroll’s damages trial against Trump

Closing arguments began this morning in Carroll’s damages trial against Trump, in which the writer is expected to seek well over $10 million for the former president’s repeatedly defaming her by calling her sexual abuse allegations against him a “con job.”

Recap yesterday's trial here.

Kaplan criticizes defense for tardiness

Kaplan admonished defense lawyers for being late to the hearing, telling Trump attorney Alina Habba that court began 10 minutes ago.

Trump arrived immediately after her and took a seat.

Trump arrives at the courthouse

The former president has arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan. Carroll arrived about a half-hour ago.

Trump is expected in court for closing arguments as a jury is set to weigh how much money in damages he must pay Carroll for defaming her.

Trump's defense has argued limited evidence of harm

Trump lawyer Alina Habba said yesterday that it can’t be argued that Trump’s statements caused Carroll harm, as opposed to her article in The Cut in which she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her.

Asked by Kaplan if she’s saying there is insufficient evidence of causation, Habba said: “Yes.” She pointed to Carroll’s prior tweets, which she described as being lewd, and claimed Carroll had deleted the exact evidence she now relies on to support her accusation of emotional harm.

Pressed by Kaplan on when the deletion occurred, Habba said it happened the day the article in The Cut came out. When the judge asked if there was a subpoena showing the deletion, Habba said Carroll had acknowledged it.

Carroll arrives at court

Carroll arrived just after 8:30a.m. ET for closing arguments at her trial on what damages Trump will have to pay for defaming her. The court is set to convene at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Highlights from Trump's testimony yesterday

Trump testified for just under five minutes after he clashed with the judge in the damages trial in Carroll’s defamation case against him.

While the former president was limited in what he could say, he still called Carroll’s accusation “false” — a claim that Kaplan ordered stricken from the record because he had already barred Trump from re-litigating whether he had sexually assaulted Carroll.

Asked whether he stood by his claims in a 2022 deposition in which he called her allegations a “hoax” and a “con job,” Trump said: “100%. Yes.” Asked whether he ever instructed anyone to hurt Carroll, he testified: “No. I just wanted to defend myself, my family and frankly the presidency.” Kaplan ordered everything after the word “no” stricken.

Asked on cross-examination whether this was the first trial involving Carroll that he has attended, Trump answered, “Yes.”

Read the full story here.