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Former President Donald Trump tore into the judge who is presiding over a defamation case involving writer E. Jean Carroll after a contentious hearing in his courtroom on Wednesday.
Trump was not required to be in court for the proceedings against him but said he planned to attend “all days,” reports noted. Last year, a jury found Trump guilty of “sexually assaulting” Carroll in a department store in the mid-1990s. She is suing him again for defamation after he repeatedly claimed she lied about the assault.
During the proceedings, Trump reportedly banged on a table, shook his hands in the air, and made remarks about Carroll as she testified, according to Politico’s Erica Orden, who described one of the exchanges between the former president and Judge Lewis Kaplan:
JUDGE: Mr. Trump has the right to be present here. That right can be forfeited. Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial.
TRUMP: I would love it!
JUDGE: I know you would. I know you would. You just can’t control yourself in this circumstance, apparently.
Also during the proceedings, Kaplan had earlier in the day advised Trump to “keep his voice down.”
Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Trump addressed reporters.
Shawn Crowley, Carroll’s attorney, claimed to the judge that she overheard Trump disparaging Carroll during her testimony.
“Mr. Trump has been loudly saying things, including that the witness is lying and noting that she has suddenly got her memory back,” Crowley told Kaplan after jurors were released from the room. “It’s loud enough that some of us here are hearing it.”
“I’m going to ask Mr. Trump to take special care to keep his voice down in conferring with his attorneys,” Kaplan said.
Despite the warning, Trump persisted in criticizing Carroll throughout the testimony, which led Crowley to inform Kaplan prior to lunch that she could still hear Trump insulting Carroll.
“As you know, the First Lady’s mother passed away,” he began.
“The funeral is tomorrow, and we would have assumed that for a trial like this — it’s not an emergency in terms of timing — the judge would’ve been very nice and let me go because I want to be at every trial day,” Trump continued. “Because I saw what happened with the first one — I was asked not to go by the lawyers. Very much, they said, it’s demeaning. There was no evidence. There was no anything. So, I didn’t go. And I understood exactly what he meant when he said it was demeaning. There was no reason to go. You shouldn’t go. And I decided on this one — same judge, same judge. He’s a radical Trump hater.
And I said, I will go to all days. So, what happened very terribly is we asked to delay the trial just for one day so I could go to the funeral tomorrow, and we could start Friday or Monday or anytime they want. And he said, ‘Absolutely not, the trial will go on just as it is. You can go to the funeral or the trial. You can’t do both,’” he continued.
“I thought it was terrible, I thought it was terrible. So, he would rather have me miss the funeral or go to the funeral and miss the trial. And that’s a nasty man. He’s a nasty judge. He’s a Trump-hating guy, and that’s obvious to everyone in the court. It’s a disgrace, frankly, what’s happening. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said.
He then added: “Happens to be a Clinton appointment, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.”
Trump said that he is actually the one who has “suffered damages” and should be paid by Carroll.
“The big take today was that [E. Jean Carroll] deleted and destroyed massive amounts of evidence. And we think that both trials should be thrown out because it’s ridiculous. They should be thrown out. And, I, frankly, am the one who suffered damages. I should be given money, given damages,” he told reporters.