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Trump risks another defamation lawsuit with renewed attack on E. Jean Carroll

Despite recently posting a $91.6 million bond to appeal the case where he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, former president Donald Trump continues to defame writer E Jean Carroll.

During a rally in Georgia on Saturday, Mr Trump attacked Ms Carroll, her lawyers and the judge who oversaw the case – claiming the lawsuit was politically motivated and funded by “Democratic operatives”.

“I just posted a $91 million bond on a fake story. Totally made up story,” Mr Trump said. “Based on false accusations made about me by a woman that I knew nothing about, didn’t know, never heard of it. I know nothing about her.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

“Her lawyers are big Democratic operatives. The judge was a disaster. But Democratic operatives funded and directed her, they gave her the money to pursue the case,” Mr Trump told supporters.

The assertions are familiar ones that the former president has made countless times before. They’re the same ones that landed Mr Trump with a $83m bill which he was ordered to pay Ms Carroll after defaming her when she came forward with accusations that the former president sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

Two separate juries in New York awarded Ms Carroll damages for Mr Trump’s defamatory statements.

Last spring, a jury found the former president liable for sexual abuse and defamation when he denied the allegations and called Ms Carroll a “hoax” and a “con job.” In that case, the jury awarded Ms Carroll $5m.

Then in January, another jury awarded Ms Carroll $83m in damages for making more defamatory statements. The jury’s only job was to determine the amount Mr Trump was responsible for paying Ms Carroll as the previous jury already found him liable for abuse.

During the most recent trial, Ms Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, urged the jury to come up with a sum of money that would prevent the former president from continuing to defame Ms Carroll. But $83m is still not enough to prevent Mr Trump from making similar statements.

Mr Trump told supporters on Saturday that even the judge overseeing the case, District Judge Lewis Kaplan, was “highly corrupt” and a “federal Democrat Trump-deranged judge”.

“His name is Lewis Kaplan – an angry man, he screamed at my lawyer,” Mr Trump said.

During the trial, Judge Kaplan expressed frustrations with both Mr Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, as well as Ms Kaplan, but he never “screamed” in the courtroom.

Attacking the prosecution or judge is one of Mr Trump’s most commonly-used defences when speaking about one of his many criminal or civil trials. In his civil fraud case, Justice Arthur Engoron placed a gag order on the former president to prevent him from inspiring people to send threats to individuals or the court.