Trump’s Immunity Defense Shot Down

( – The 45th President suffered another legal setback on January 8th when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave a firm “no” to Trump’s request to re-hear his claim of presidential immunity in a civil case he lost last year.

Writer E. Jean Caroll sued Trump, claiming that he sexually assaulted her in a department store in the 1990s. Trump denied the claim, but a jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages for abuse and defamation (by Trump). A second trial is slated to start on January 15th to determine how much damages Trump may owe Carroll for denying her allegations against him while he was in office.

The court’s one-page order denied Trump’s request to reconsider the question of whether he could use his status as president to claim immunity for statements he made while in office denying Carroll’s claims. The only option left to Trump is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is not clear whether he will take that path.

In her suits, Carroll claims that Trump’s denial of her claims, including his statements calling her a liar, damaged her social standing and her career. The jury agreed, deciding that Trump had defamed the magazine writer by denying her claims. It is unclear how the ordinary practice of a defendant denying allegations against him could constitute a legal claim of defamation, but that is apparently what the jury decided.

In the fall of 2022, the court sent down a partial judgment against Trump stating that the former president did defame Carroll with “actual malice” in 2019 when he made the statements denying Carroll’s claims. Then in December, a federal appeals court in New York decided Trump could not use “presidential immunity” to defend his statements against Carroll in her civil suits.

Unsurprisingly for the firebrand former commander-in-chief, Trump rang in the new year with multiple social media posts aimed at undermining Carroll’s claims.

Trump has also been barred from denying that he assaulted Carroll when arguments open in the upcoming trial.

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