U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has scheduled a second defamation trial against former President Donald Trump, filed by E. Jean Carroll, for January 15, 2024.
Is the timing merely a coincidence?
This trial date falls just days before the Republican primary voters commence the presidential nomination process.
The decision to schedule the trial comes after Judge Kaplan allowed Carroll to amend her second defamation lawsuit, seeking up to $10 million in damages.
Trump found liable, pays millions in damages
In a previous trial, a jury found Trump liable for sexual battery and defamation, awarding Carroll $5 million in damages.
Of this amount, $2 million was awarded for the sexual battery claim, while $3 million was granted for defamation.
Trump faces second lawsuit over rape allegations
Carroll’s second lawsuit stems from Trump’s remarks in 2019 regarding her rape accusations.
Kaplan permitted Carroll to include Trump’s recent comments from a CNN town hall, where he denied knowing her and referred to her allegations as fake and made-up.
Lawsuit amendment opposed by Trump’s attorney
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, opposed allowing the lawsuit to be amended, stating, “We maintain that she should not be permitted to retroactively change her legal theory, at the eleventh hour, to avoid the consequences of an adverse finding against her.”
Notably, the trial is scheduled to begin shortly before the first-in-the-nation Republican primary caucus in Iowa on January 22, 2024.
Trials threaten Trump’s Republican nomination race
The January trial date is expected to impact the race for the Republican nomination, potentially distracting the current frontrunner and tarnishing his image relative to other candidates.
Trump is now facing at least three trials within the following year.
Legal battles pile up for Trump and his company
The New York Attorney General’s civil lawsuit against Trump and his company for fraud is scheduled for October.
Additionally, Trump is set to face a criminal trial in March 2024, following the “Super Tuesday” of the GOP primary.
Legal proceedings likely to shape Trump’s political future
This trial stems from an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into Trump’s alleged falsification of business records.
Furthermore, a federal criminal case resulting from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation has charged Trump, although no trial date has been established yet.
These legal proceedings against Trump will undoubtedly have significant implications for his political future and could shape the landscape of the Republican primary and general election.