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Judge threatens to remove Trump from E. Jean Carroll trial

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Wednesday told Donald Trump that he would throw him out of the courtroom where a jury is hearing testimony in writer E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation case against the former president if he did not stop making comments that the jury could hear, according to multiple reports.

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The incident happened on the second day of the trial as Carroll, a former magazine columnist who earlier won a $5 million verdict against Trump, was giving her testimony. An attorney for Carroll complained that Trump could be heard calling the case a “witch hunt” and claiming that “it was a con job” from the defense table, The New York Times reported.

In court, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan acknowledged that Trump has a right to be present for the proceedings but added that the right could be forfeited if the former president is disruptive, according to The Associated Press.

To Trump, he said, “I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial,” adding, “I understand you’re probably eager for me to do that,” CNN reported.

The former president, who had earlier shaken his head several times through Carroll’s testimony, responded, “I would love it,” according to the Times.

“I know you would like it,” Kaplan responded, according to the AP. “You just can’t control yourself in this circumstance, apparently.”

In a social media post Wednesday, Trump accused Kaplan of being “a totally biased and hostile person.”

“This case is another example of Election Interference at a level never seen before,” he wrote.

In a second post, he added, “The Judge suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome as anyone can see from his last outburst against me in the Court. I did nothing wrong, except defend myself from false, malicious, and defamatory accusations by somebody writing a book, and deciding to put this fake nonsense into it, probably for the publicity she would get. She was not damaged, I am the one who was damaged.”

In 2019, Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in an excerpt published by New York Magazine from her then-forthcoming memoir. She said the attack happened in the mid-1990s in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan.

Trump denied having committed the assault and said he didn’t know Carroll, making several public statements that make up the crux of the ongoing defamation trial against him.

“Previously I was known simply as a journalist,” Carroll, 80, testified on Wednesday, according to CNN, noting her decades-long career in magazine publishing. “Now I’m known as a liar, a fraud, and a whack job.”

Last year, jurors found Trump liable for sexually assaulting Carroll and defaming her in a 2022 social media post in which he claimed that she was lying about the assault and that he did not know her. The jury ordered him to pay Carroll $5 million, a decision that Trump has appealed, according to the AP.

In September, Kaplan found that Trump’s denials in 2019 were “substantially the same” as the 2022 statement scrutinized by the earlier jury. The ongoing defamation case is focused on determining how much Trump will be ordered to pay for the defamatory statements he made in 2019.

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