…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
E. Jean Carroll, a 79-year-old advice columnist, sued former US President Donald Trump for sexual assault and defamation in connection with an encounter that allegedly took place in the mid-1990s at the Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman.
After a civil trial, a jury found Mr. Trump liable for battery, concluding that he had sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll but not raped her.
The verdict could have serious implications for Mr. Trump’s potential 2024 White House bid, as he is the frontrunner to be the Republican candidate in next year’s Presidential election.
Mr. Trump plans to appeal the verdict, while Republican senators have spoken out to question his ability to appeal to voters beyond his base.
The Verdict and Ms. Carroll’s Response:
The jury deliberated for just under three hours before finding Mr. Trump liable for battery and defamation.
In a statement after the verdict, Ms. Carroll thanked her supporters and hailed her legal team who “never, ever backed down in pursuit of truth and justice”.
She said, “Today, the world finally knows the truth.
This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”
Mr. Trump’s Reaction:
Addressing supporters after the verdict, Mr. Trump wrote: “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is.
The verdict is a disgrace – a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!” His lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told reporters outside the courthouse that Mr. Trump plans to mount an appeal against the “inconsistent verdict”.
He also tackled questions about Mr. Trump’s decision to shun the civil trial and not give live evidence in his defence.
Analysis and Commentaries:
The trial verdict is unlikely to significantly affect Mr. Trump’s core support among Republican voters, who have remained loyal to him despite numerous controversies during his time in office.
However, Republican senators have spoken out to question his ability to appeal to voters beyond his base.
Republican strategist Charlie Gerow said that the “folks that are anti-Trump are going to remain that way, the core pro-Trump voters are not going to change, and the ambivalent ones I just don’t think are going to be moved by this type of thing”.
Mr. Trump’s polling numbers went up last month when he was charged with allegedly falsifying business records over “hush money” paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
However, the rape allegations against him would have had a greater impact on his presidential campaign.
Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s director of communications during his term as President, said “optics do matter in politics” and contended the rape allegation “would have stung a lot” – even though Trump was cleared of that allegation.
In support of her case, Ms. Carroll called evidence from two other women who say they are victims of sexual abuse by Mr. Trump.
Jessica Leeds told the court she was groped by Mr. Trump in the late 1970s, while Natasha Stoynoff said Trump forcibly kissed her in 2005.
The verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s case against Donald Trump is significant, as it is one of the first instances where a former US President has been held liable for sexual assault.
The outcome of the appeal will determine whether Mr. Trump will have to pay the damages awarded to Ms. Carroll.
However, the trial verdict is unlikely to have a significant impact on Mr.
Trump’s base, who remain loyal to him despite numerous controversies.
Republican senators have expressed doubts about his ability to appeal to voters beyond his base, and analysts suggest that the rape allegations against him would have had a greater impact on his presidential campaign.