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A judge tossed out Trump's countersuit to E. Jean Carroll. What does this mean?

Former President Donald Trump walks to speak with reporters before boarding his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Aug. 3 in Arlington, Va.
Alex Brandon
/
AP
Former President Donald Trump walks to speak with reporters before boarding his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Aug. 3 in Arlington, Va.

A federal judge in New York dismissed former President Donald Trump's countersuit against writer E. Jean Carroll, dealing yet another blow to Trump's ever-growing legal woes.

Trump and his legal team claimed that the former magazine writer defamed him when she said that he raped her on CNN.

Carroll made these comments during an interview after she won one of her lawsuits against the former president in May. The jury in that case found Trump liable for battery and defamation. Jurors found he did sexually abuse the writer and defamed her when he denied her allegation. Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages.

When Carroll was asked by CNN about the verdict finding Trump didn't rape her as defined under New York law she responded, "Oh, yes he did."

For that, Trump sued the writer back in June.

And on Monday, federal Judge Lewis Kaplan said Carroll's statements repeating the claim that Trump had raped her were "substantially true" given the jury's verdict in that case.

An attorney for Carroll, Robbie Kaplan, said in a statement that they are pleased the court dismissed Trump's counterclaim.

"That means that the January 15th jury trial will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn't take very long to complete," Kaplan said. "E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019."

Attorneys for Trump didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

What did the judge say?

Judge Kaplan wrote in his dismissal that the jury in May established that "Mr. Trump 'raped her,' albeit digitally rather than with his penis."

"In fact, both acts constitute 'rape' in common parlance, its definition in some dictionaries, in some federal and state criminal statutes, and elsewhere," he wrote.

Kaplan said "there is no merit to Mr. Trump's argument."

The judge had previously rejected Trump's motion for a new trial.

What is the case set to be tried in January?

E. Jean Carroll on April 25 in New York City.
Seth Wenig / AP
/
AP
E. Jean Carroll on April 25 in New York City.

A trial is set to start in January over Carroll's first lawsuit filed in 2019. The focus of this case is on Trump's alleged defamation against Carroll initially when she came forward with accusations Trump had raped her.

She went public that year saying Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s when Trump was known as just a businessman.

Trump responded then (and since), denying the accusation and saying that the writer had ulterior motives.

She's seeking at least an additional $10 million in damages.

This adds to Trump's growing 2024 calendar with three criminal cases brought against him — all in the middle of a presidential election campaign.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.
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