Trump legal team rejects calls for testimony limits in defamation case

Trump legal team rejects calls for testimony limits in defamation case

Trump legal team rejects calls for testimony limits in defamation case By Reuters

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Published Jan 14, 2024 12:19PM ET

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: E. Jean Carroll exits the Manhattan Federal Court following the verdict in the civil rape accusation case against former U.S. President Donald Trump, in New York City, U.S., May 9, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – Donald Trump should not be forced to testify as to his own guilt or face strict warnings about crossing red lines in his remarks should the former U.S. president choose to testify in a defamation trial set to begin this week, his legal team argued on Sunday.

Trump is due to face a federal jury in New York this week to determine how much he should pay the writer E. Jean Carroll for defaming her in 2019, one of a string of legal entanglements he is contending with as primary elections for the 2024 Republican nomination, which the former president is seeking, get under way.

A jury last year found in a civil case that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her in 2022 by calling her a liar.

Multiple courts have sought to require Trump not to stray into diatribes and speechmaking.

Lawyers for Carroll last week argued that, should Trump decide to testify in his own defense, he should be required to state out of the jury’s presence that he understands he assaulted her and should be warned against disobeying court orders limiting what he can say.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan this month ruled that the former president may not tell the jury he did not rape Kaplan.

” (I)t would be a manifest injustice to require President Trump to proffer his guilt, under oath, for acts that he maintains did not occur” and which were not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, attorney Alina Habba wrote.

Habba also argued that, despite pre-set limits on his testimony, Trump would be free to testify about the context in which he made his remarks about Carroll as evidence showing whether he did so with hatred or ill will.

“He can do this without opining on the actual underlying events,” she wrote.

Trump legal team rejects calls for testimony limits in defamation case

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