E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against Donald Trump was off again Wednesday after the court canceled another’s days proceedings following a set of COVID scares, opening up the possibility of Trump taking the stand Thursday.
Manhattan federal court officials late Tuesday announced the trial would be pushed back another day without giving a reason. Judge Lewis Kaplan sent the parties home Monday after a juror called in sick on his way to the courthouse and Trump’s attorney Alina Habba said she was feeling unwell after spending time with her parents, who later tested positive for COVID.
Habba had asked the court for a one-day adjournment on Monday and to allow the former president to be in New Hampshire for the primaries and take the stand on Wednesday. She didn’t immediately return calls and texts from the Daily News inquiring whether he still planned to take the stand.
The jury of seven men and two women hearing the case will weigh how much Trump owes the former Elle advice columnist, if anything, for a set of defamatory statements he issued as president in June 2019 after she publicly accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Midtown department store in 1996 in an excerpt of her book “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal” published by New York magazine.
Among other incendiary comments, Trump claimed he’d never met Carroll and that she’d fabricated the incident.
Carroll is seeking at least $10 million in compensation and millions more in punitive damages for continuing to defame her, as Trump did in the leadup to the trial and has throughout it. Jurors heard from an expert last week who estimated it would cost as much as $12 million to repair the harm to Carroll’s reputation caused by the statements in question.
Judge Kaplan determined Trump was liable for defamation in the case following the verdict in Carroll’s other suit against him, which she won at trial in May when another jury found he sexually abused her in the 1990s and defamed her on Truth Social as a “complete con job” in October 2022 after leaving the White House, when he added she was “not my type!”
The older suit is only on trial now as Trump bogged it down for years by arguing presidents couldn’t be sued.
On Thursday, jurors are expected to hear from Carroll’s final witness, Elle’s editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, before Trump’s side presents their defense.
The GOP front-runner won’t be able to deny assaulting Carroll or defaming her, as those facts have already been determined. Carroll’s lawyers have expressed concern he’ll turn it into a campaign event. Her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, declined to comment Wednesday.
Trump, 77, has pleaded not guilty to 91 felonies in four criminal cases and faces a slew of lawsuits as he seeks the presidency once again. He won the New Hampshire primary for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday.