Judge threatens to kick Trump out of court

Former President Donald Trump has been present for round two of the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial. The judge ruled months ago that this trial would not be a do-over on the question of whether or not Trump sexually abused Carroll more than two decades ago. Instead, the jury would only be deciding how much Trump would have to pay for additional instances of defamation on top of the $5 million he was ordered to pay Carroll in the first trial.

Today, Trump made a show of his disagreement with Carroll’s testimony which led to complaints from her attorneys that Trump’s outbursts could be overheard by the jury.

Trump repeatedly shook his head in anger and made comments to his lawyer throughout Carroll’s testimony. At one point, Kaplan told Trump’s attorney to sit down after denying her objection. Trump slammed the table and commented to his attorney, “nasty guy,” apparently referring to the judge.

During the morning break, Carroll lawyer Shawn Crowley told the judge that Trump had been loudly making comments, saying some statements were “false” and making cracks about Carroll’s memory.

Before the jury returned, Kaplan said, “I’m just going to ask Mr. Trump to take special care to keep his voice down so the jury does not overhear it.”

The request did not take. When the jury broke for lunch, Crowley told the judge that Trump had continued his commentary, and that some jurors could have heard him say “this really is a con job” and “it’s a witch hunt.”

This led to another warning, this time directly to Trump, that he could be ejected from the courtroom unless he controlled himself.

“Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial,” Kaplan said in an exchange after the jury was excused for lunch, adding: “I understand you’re probably eager for me to do that.”

“I would love it,” the Republican presidential front-runner shot back, shrugging as he sat between lawyers Alina Habba and Michael Madaio at the defense table.

“I know you would like it. You just can’t control yourself in this circumstance, apparently,” Kaplan responded.

“You can’t either,” Trump muttered.

During the lunch break Trump posted criticism of the judge on Truth Social. One of them said:

I feel an obligation to be at every moment of this ridiculous trial because we have a seething and hostile Clinton-appointed Judge, Lewis Kaplan, who suffers from a major case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. In the first trial, with the same Judge, where I was asked not to go by my lawyers because it was “beneath me as a former President of the United States,” he was reported to have been extraordinarily hostile to our side. But I should have gone, if for no other reason than to witness and speak up against the abuse carried out by this Judge. There was no way that case should have been lost! I was accused of something that I didn’t do. Now, because I want to be at this Witch Hunt 100% of the time and watch what is going on, my attorneys asked the Judge for a one day delay so that I can attend the funeral of my beloved mother-in-law, with my wife and entire family, tomorrow in Palm Beach, Florida.…

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba also had several run ins with the judge. 

Habba began day two of the trial by sparring with U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan over her request for an adjournment Thursday so the former president could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. 

“The application is denied. I will hear no further argument on it. None. Do you understand that word? None. Please sit down,” Judge Kaplan, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, told Habba about the motion that he had already previously denied. 

In the afternoon, Habba cross-examined Carroll and soon jumped into a line of questioning about a time when the longtime journalist lived in Montana. 

“Montana was boring for you?” Habba asked Carroll, 80, who responded that it was actually “never boring.” 

Habba then attempted to undermine Carroll's testimony by pointing to a deposition in which the writer said Montana was “great.” 

A confused Judge Kaplan then questioned Habba about the point she was trying to make — and the attorney dropped the line of questioning completely. 

Habba moved on to asking Carroll if she appeared on television to promote her 2019 book What Do We Need Men For, which includes the sexual assault allegation she made against Trump. 

She then asked about Carroll's prior television appearances in an apparent attempt to show she went on TV to promote the 2019 book more often than she did while selling other books she previously published. 

Carroll responded that she actually appeared on television more often when she was promoting her 2001 book Mr. Right Right Now!

Later in her examination, Habba began reading from a document that had not been formally entered into evidence, which Judge Kaplan quickly shut down before calling for a break in the trial. 

“During which you should refresh your memory about how it is you get a document into evidence," Kaplan told the attorney. 

Soon after the break, Habba questioned Carroll about threatening communications she received after accusing Trump of sexual assault — and whether or not she had deleted any emails with threats after receiving a subpoena in this case.  

Carroll responded that she may have deleted communications, prompting Habba to request a mistrial while the jury was still in the courtroom. 

“Denied,” Judge Kaplan “The jury will disregard everything Ms. Habba just said.” 

Habba will continue her cross examination of Carroll on Thursday, she said. 

On one level, I don’t get what Trump is trying to do here. The jury is going to decide how much he owes Carroll and that’s all. Under the circumstances, how does carrying on in the courtroom help him? Carroll is asking for $10 million in damages plus punitive damages. Trump’s continued attacks on her via Truth Social seem likely to convince the jury they need to send a message. In fact, that was the argument Carroll’s attorney made in court.

Crowley noted that Trump had continued his attacks since the last verdict, including the posts on Truth Social while he was in court.

“He sat in this courthouse this morning. And while he was sitting there, he posted more defamatory statements, more lies about Ms. Carroll and this case. By our count, by our last count, 22 posts just today. Think about that. Think about that when you consider how much money will it take to get him to stop,” she said.

At this point the only answer that makes sense is that Trump already knows he’s going to get clobbered in court so he’s hoping to get some free media out of it at least.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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