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#CNN: Donald Trump leaves court before attorney tells jury he tried to destroy columnist's reputation

10:00, Wednesday, 17 January, 2024
#CNN: Donald Trump leaves court before attorney tells jury he tried to destroy columnist's reputation

Donald Trump shook his head in disgust Tuesday as the judge in his New York defamation trial told would-be jurors that another jury had already decided that the former president sexually abused a columnist in the 1990s. He left before opening statements where her lawyer accused him of using “the world's biggest microphone” to destroy her reputation.

During his time in the Manhattan federal courtroom, Trump's lawyers first protested the trial itself, saying he wasn't being given a fair shake by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan and claiming that it was inappropriate for the trial to occur before appeals were resolved over legal issues.

Then, Trump expressed his displeasure through his gestures. For purposes of this proceeding, it had already been determined at a trial last year that Trump “did sexually assault Ms. Carroll,” Kaplan said, prompting Trump to shake his head from side to side. The ex-president was sitting at the defense table, flanked by his lawyers, about a dozen feet from Carroll and her legal team. They didn’t appear to speak or make eye contact.

Later, when the judge asked during jury selection if anyone felt he had been treated unfairly by the court system, Trump raised his hand slyly. The gesture drew laughter from some prospective jurors and a comment from the judge, who told Trump: “We know how you stand.”

After Trump left the courthouse, opening statements began, with attorney Shawn Crowley saying on Carroll's behalf that Trump must be held accountable for statements he made after she said publicly for the first time in a 2019 memoir that Trump had sexually abused her in the dressing room of a luxury department store a quarter century earlier.

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