E. Jean Carroll defamation case: Judge denies Trump's motion for mistrial

A jury ordered Donald Trump to pay Carroll $83 million for defaming her.

Former President Donald Trump, at the end of a five-day trial, has been ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages to former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll for defaming her in 2019 when he denied her allegations of sexual abuse.

Last year, in a separate trial, a jury determined that Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, and that he defamed her in a 2022 social media post by calling her allegations "a Hoax and a lie" and saying "This woman is not my type!"

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has said he doesn't know who Carroll is.

Judge denies Trump's motion for mistrial

Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday denied former President Trump's motion for a mistrial following Trump's conviction for defaming E. Jean Carroll.

Trump's attorney Alina Habba moved for a mistrial after Carroll testified she had deleted some messages she received that contained threats to kill her.

Judge Kaplan said Carroll's testimony should have been no surprise since she had given sworn testimony "to the same general effect" a year before the trial.

Kaplan also said Trump "demonstrated no clear error" in the judge's previous denial of a mistrial on the same grounds.

Trump has said he will appeal the verdict in the case, after the jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million in damages.

Trump looking to hire new law firm for appeal

Former President Trump said Tuesday that he's in the process of interviewing law firms to represent him in his appeal of the $83 million ruling in his defamation damages trial.

"I am in the process, along with my team, of interviewing various law firms to represent me in an Appeal," Trump posted to his social media platform. "I will make my decision soon!"

Alina Habba, Trump's legal counsel in the case, confirmed to ABC News that she continues to represent the former president in the matter.

Hiring a separate firm to handle the appellate process is a normal step in a case of this nature, and Habba said her team will work with the new firm as the appeal proceeds.

Carroll's lawyer calls verdict 'a great victory'

In a statement, E. Jean Carroll lauded the jury's verdict.

"This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down," Carroll said.

Her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said, "Today’s verdict proves that the law applies to everyone in our country, even the rich, even the famous, even former presidents."

"We thank the jury for standing up for E. Jean and the rule of law,” she said.

Trump's attorney calls jury 'ridiculous'

Addressing the media outside the courthouse, Trump attorney Alina Habba slammed the $83 million verdict, dismissing the jury as "ridiculous" and repeating Trump's vow to immediately appeal.

"We will immediately appeal. We will set aside that ridiculous jury," Habba said. "I assure you -- we didn't win today, but we will win."

Habba repeated her grievances with the orders from the judge, who instructed the defense that, based on the ruling in Trump's previous trial, they could not dispute that Trump assaulted Carroll and later defamed her when he denied it.

"You are not allowed to be stripped of every defense you have," Habba said.

Habba said she was "so proud" to represent Trump, and repeated his familiar claim that he is being targeted for political purposes.

Trump's attorney renews request for mistrial

Trump attorney Alina Habba renewed her request for a mistrial in the case Friday, arguing that E. Jean Carroll failed to preserve evidence when she deleted the death threats she received after she accused Trump of sexual assault in 2019.

"Despite being served with a subpoena in connection with this action, Plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to preserve relevant evidence. In fact, she did much worse -- she actively deleted evidence which she now attempts to rely on in establishing her damages claim," Habba wrote in a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan Friday.

Habba originally requested a mistrial during her cross-examination of Carroll on Wednesday, which Kaplan immediately denied.

Carroll explained during cross-examination that she deleted some emails and messages that were "filled with threats" before 2023.

"I deleted them early on because I didn't know how to handle death threats. I had no idea," Carroll testified. "I thought deleting them was the smartest, best, quickest way to get it out of my life."

Renewing her request in writing Friday, Habba asked for Judge Kaplan to either declare a mistrial, preclude Carroll from seeking damages based on the death threats, or instruct the jury about the "spoliation of relevant evidence."