Donald Trump’s defamation trial wraps up Friday in New York, showcasing the unprecedented scandal and legal difficulties surrounding the likely Republican candidate for president.
Far from hiding his multiple legal problems, Trump has turned courtroom sessions into quasi-campaign events, claiming each trial is part of a Democratic establishment attempt to prevent his return to the White House for a second term.
Writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking more than $10 million in damages for defamation by Trump in a federal court in New York, which has the power only to impose a civil penalty, not a criminal conviction.
Both sides begin their closing arguments Friday, with the jury deliberating on the case at an unspecified date.
The 77-year-old Trump — whom a jury found liable for sexual assault of Carroll in a separate federal civil case in New York — took the stand briefly Thursday to deny he instructed anyone to harm Carroll with his statements.
During Trump’s testimony Thursday, Judge Lewis Kaplan limited him to three questions from his lawyers, to which he could only answer yes or no to prevent him digressing from the case.
“She says something I considered false,” Trump began to say before Kaplan cut him off.
“This is not America,” Trump said as he left the courtroom following his short appearance.
Trump separately faces multiple criminal cases, including his alleged attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden, and a civil fraud case.
Earlier this week the Republican ex-president unleashed a battery of attacks on Carroll, using his Truth Social platform to smear her and deny the veracity of her evidence over the course of 37 messages.
Carroll, 80, alleges that Trump defamed her in 2019, when she first made her assault allegations public, by saying she “is not my type.”