A federal judge threatened to toss Donald Trump out of the courtroom on Wednesday. During the testimony of E. Jean Carroll, a woman who has won a defamation ruling against the former president, Trump became “combative” and continued to interject.
After Carroll’s lawyers complained twice to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that the former president was loudly disparaging Carroll from his seat at the defense table, the judge addressed Trump directly, telling him to pipe down. Carroll’s lawyers claimed that his comments were audible to the nine-member jury.
The Washington Post reported on the scene.
“Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial,” Kaplan said before a midday break. While Trump has a right to be there, the judge said, “that right can be forfeited … if he is disruptive.”
Trump threw his hands up in an animated show of disapproval.
“I would love it! I would love it!” he said.
Kaplan said Trump appeared unable to control himself.
“You can’t either!” Trump said.
The federal trial, occurring in Manhattan, aims to assess the compensation Carroll should receive from Trump for the defamatory remarks he issued following her public accusation of rape.
“Carroll, 80, had testified in Trump’s presence that he raped her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s, then defamed her after she came forward with the accusation in 2019, when he was president.
She testified that his lies ‘shattered my reputation.’
‘To have the president of the United States, one of the most powerful persons on earth, calling me a liar for three days and saying I’m a liar 26 times — I counted them — it ended the world that I had been living in,’ Carroll said on the witness stand Wednesday,” according to CNBC.
During a separate, but similar trial last year, a jury found Trump responsible for sexual abuse and defamation, resulting in a directive for him to compensate Carroll with $5 million. Trump is currently challenging that decision through an appeal.
This time around, Carroll’s lawyers are asking for at least $10 million in damages following Trump’s continued comments about Carroll following his loss in first trial.