Former president Donald Trump was questioned under oath Wednesday in Florida by attorneys for E. Jean Carroll, an author who in 2019 went public with an accusation that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, in a defamation case. Trump deposed at Mar-a-Lago in case brought by sexual assault accuser:
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, confirmed that the deposition happened Wednesday as scheduled. The lawyer declined to comment further.
Trump attorney Alina Habba did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. Trump and his attorneys have adamantly denied his having any encounter with Carroll, who has said she was assaulted by Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room.
When Carroll went public with the sexual assault allegation, Trump, then in office, called Carroll a liar and suggested he would not have been interested in her sexually because she wasn’t his “type.”
So who is the type of woman you would rape?
The deposition took place in person at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla., where he has resided since leaving office, a person with knowledge of the event confirmed, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a proceeding that was closed to the public.
Vice News adds, Trump Just Blew Up His Rape Lawsuit Defense:
Former President Donald Trump’s recent online tirade against E. Jean Carroll might have been a really bad idea.
That’s because the move appears to have blown a new hole in Trump’s best defense against the magazine columnist’s lawsuit, in which Carroll accuses Trump of defamation by denying her accusation that he raped her in a New York department store over two decades ago.
Trump’s lawyers have argued for months that he can’t be held personally responsible in the suit because his denial took place during his presidency, and therefore fell under his official duties as president. But by repeating his denial last week in an online tirade posted on his social media site, Truth Social, and blasted out in an emailed statement, Trump essentially re-upped the activity at the heart of the lawsuit—at a moment when he’s not the president anymore.
Note: Each incidence of defamation is a separate actionable offense. He is now subject to liability for his recent Truth (sic) Social post.
In other words, Trump may have just kicked the legs out from under one of his strongest legal defenses, according to Barbara McQuade, who previously served as Detroit’s top federal prosecutor.
“She [Carroll] should amend her complaint to include an additional count based on the new statement,” McQuade told VICE News. “Because Trump is no longer president, this statement was most certainly not made in the scope of his federal employment.”
Trump acknowledged that he wasn’t “supposed to” repeat what he said about Carroll, but then went on to repeat it anyway.
“It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years,” Trump wrote. “And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!”
McQuade isn’t the only lawyer who thinks Trump stepped on a rake by re-upping his claims after his presidency.
Longtime Trump critic and conservative lawyer George Conway also noted that Trump’s statement was probably ill-advised.
Conway castigated Trump on Twitter last week for issuing “a BRAND NEW statement REPEATING all the earlier defamatory statements, but since you’re no longer POTUS, you NO LONGER HAVE THAT DEFENSE you’ve been pushing for years that you made the statements while you were president!!!”
Also on Wednesday a federal judge in Florida ordered lawyer John Eastman, a Coup Plotter and former President Donald Trump’s reputed lawyer in his failed legal challenges to the 2020 election results, to turn over 33 new documents to the House Jan. 6 committee, including a number that the judge found are exempt from attorney-client privilege by the crime-fraud exception. NBC News reports,Judge says Trump knew his voter fraud numbers were false, orders ex-lawyer to give more emails to Jan. 6 committee:
According to the judge, Eastman said in one of the email exchanges that Trump was aware that the number of voter fraud cases his team was alleging in a federal lawsuit challenging the election results in Georgia was “inaccurate.” But, the judge said, Trump signed off on the suit, “swearing under oath” that the numbers were correct, anyway.
The email exchange centered on Trump’s legal team’s plan to use the same highly inflated fraud numbers it had used in a state court suit in early December 2020, alleging that Fulton County, Georgia, “improperly counted a number of votes including 10,315 deceased people, 2,560 felons, and 2,423 unregistered voters,” the ruling said.
But on Dec. 30, 2020 — before the federal filing — “Eastman relayed ‘concerns’ from President Trump’s team ‘about including specific numbers in the paragraph dealing with felons, deceased, moved, etc.,'” Carter said.
Eastman said in an email the next day that “although the President signed a verification for [the state court filing] back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate.”
“For him to sign a new verification with that knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate,” Eastman wrote.
Nevertheless, Carter noted, “Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed the complaint with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise changing them,” adding, “President Trump, moreover, signed a verification swearing under oath that the incorporated, inaccurate numbers ‘are true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct’ to the best of his knowledge and belief.”
Carter — who previously found in the civil dispute that it is “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021” — ruled the emails Eastman wanted to keep under wraps “are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
“The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,” he ruled.
Carter also ruled that four other documents must be disclosed because they suggest that the primary goal of an unspecified legal filing was to delay the certification of the 2020 election results.
“In one email, for example, President Trump’s attorneys state that ‘[m]erely having this case pending in the Supreme Court, not ruled on, might be enough to delay consideration of Georgia.’ This email, read in context with other documents in this review, make clear that President Trump filed certain lawsuits not to obtain legal relief, but to disrupt or delay the January 6 congressional proceedings through the courts,” Carter wrote.
The decision was far from a complete loss for Eastman — Carter found that over 500 of the documents he sought to keep private because of attorney-client or work privileges did not have to be handed over to the committee.
Carter’s ruling was in a civil case, in which the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case.
* * *
Carter sided with the committee, finding that both Trump and Eastman most likely knew what they were doing was wrong.
Carter agreed in a ruling in March. “The illegality of the plan was obvious,” he wrote then.
Eastman testified in August before the special grand jury assisting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia.
He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and cited attorney-client privilege during his testimony, his attorneys said afterward.
Fani Willis will be able to use this evidence with the Special Grand Jury in Fulton County, Georgia.
Donald Trump has been evading service of a fraud lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James. On Wednesday, the Attorney General confirmed that service of the lawsuit has been made. Business Insider reports, Donald Trump finally gets served $250 million NY fraud lawsuit after 3 weeks — and a court order:
Donald Trump has lost the first legal skirmish in his battle against New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, and her $250 million fraud case against him: After three weeks and a court order, he’s been officially served with the 220-page lawsuit.
Trump was finally served through his attorney, Alina Habba, “by sending in electronic mail a message containing a secure cloud link to pdf attachments of all the documents,” James said in a court filing Thursday.
The lawsuit accuses the Trump Organization of a decadelong pattern of fraudulently exaggerating the company’s worth; it seeks a quarter-billion dollars in penalties and to bar the Trumps from doing business in New York.
Representatives for Trump and his son Eric, an executive vice president at his father’s company, had evaded service of the lawsuit ever since it was filed three weeks ago, on September 21.
Habba and a lawyer for Eric Trump, Clifford Robert, never replied to emails sent by the attorney general that same day requesting confirmation that they were the appropriate persons to accept service, her office complained in a court filing last week.
Lawyers for all of the suit’s other defendants, including Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., had meanwhile quickly accepted service.
The silent treatment from Donald and Eric Trump came despite Habba and Robert having submitted notices to the court in late September — called “notices of appearance” — declaring themselves to be attorneys of record for the case.
The apparent runaround led James’ office to accuse Trump’s side of “gamesmanship.” Last week, she sought a court order that allowed her to simply email the papers to Habba and Robert and be done with it.
The Manhattan judge handling the case quickly agreed, ruling Thursday that emailing the papers to the two lawyers would suffice as service to both Trumps. James fired off those emails the same day, their Monday filing said.
The judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, set October 31 as the date for oral arguments in the lawsuit’s next dispute.
The sides will argue over the attorney general’s claim that the Trump Organization is so rife with ongoing fraud that it’s in immediate need of an independent financial monitor to be appointed and overseen by the judge.
Also, Donald Trump and his two eldest sons on Wednesday lost their bid to replace Justice Arthur Engoron on the case. The Trumps really, really wanted a new judge in NY’s $250M fraud lawsuit. But that judge’s boss just said no.
Donald Trump and his two eldest sons on Wednesday lost what had been their escalating legal effort to switch judges in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million fraud lawsuit.
The suit, filed September 21, alleges Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization exaggerated his worth by billions of dollars in business filings over the past decade; it will now remain in the courtroom of the same Manhattan judge that once held the former president in contempt and fined him $110,000.
The judge, state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, has presided over two years of often heated legal disputes in the run-up to the lawsuit, refereeing as James’ side fought with Trump’s side to get the business documents and deposition testimony she needed for her investigation.
[A] protracted evidence dispute, which involved more than 800 court filings and exhibits, technically remains an open and related court matter, with Engoron still its judge.
In his written decision on Wednesday, Engoron’s boss, Administrative Judge Adam Silvera, ruled that Engoron should preside over the lawsuit as well, as a matter of “judicial economy and expediency.”
Lawyers for the attorney general had argued that moving courtrooms would only delay things by “requiring another judge to develop the level of familiarity Justice Engoron already has developed over several years.”
The attorney general is hoping to set a trial date before the end of 2023.
Silvera in Wednesday’s decision also dinged Trump’s side for having delayed accepting service of the lawsuit for three weeks, even as lawyers for Donald Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., filed written requests to have it moved to the court’s commercial division. Ivanka Trump did not join the request to change judges.
That delay also delayed his ruling, Silvera wrote.
[T]he attorney general is also seeking an order from Engoron barring the Trump Organization “from engaging in any fraudulent or illegal acts” while the lawsuit winds its way through pretrial litigation that could go on for another two years.
James is especially concerned that Trump may try to move assets from the Trump Organization toa new entity he created, the Trump Organization II.
Habba called James’ latest demands a “stunt.” In a press statement Thursday, Habba said, “We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper.”
That doesn’t pass the laugh test.
Finally, the January 6 Committee is preparing to issue its subpoena for Donald Trumps testimony and production of documents. Once again, Trump and his aywyrs are evading service. ABC News reports, Jan. 6 committee has yet to find a Trump lawyer who’ll accept service of subpoena, sources say:
The Jan. 6 committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol has yet to formally subpoena former President Donald Trump, in part because investigators are still trying to find someone authorized to accept service of it, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
Last week, the committee took the historic step of voting to subpoena the former president, with all nine members of the panel voting to approve the resolution to compel him to testify about the attack on the Capitol, which the committee argues was the violent culmination of Trump’s many efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
But multiple lawyers representing Trump have told committee investigators they aren’t permitted to formally accept service of the subpoena on behalf of Trump, sources familiar with the deliberations say.
The subpoena is expected to be issued in short order once committee investigators learn who is formally representing Trump in the matter, and after the panel agrees to additional details regarding deadlines for Trump’s compliance and the precise details of the documents they are seeking. The subpoena could be issued as soon as Thursday, the sources said.
Rep. Liz Cheney said on Tuesday the formal request from the committee would happen “shortly.”
Both Evan Corcoran and John Rowley have told committee investigators they don’t have authorization to accept service of the subpoena on behalf of the former president, according to people familiar with the communications. Corcoran is representing Trump in matters related to the Mar-a-Lago documents probe and Rowley — in addition to Corcoran — has been representing Trump on executive privilege issues involving former White House aides who have received grand jury subpoenas.
The committee has also contacted attorney Justin Clark, who has said he also isn’t authorized to accept it, sources say.
Neither Corcoran, Rowley or Clark responded to ABC News’ request seeking comment.
Trump has previously told advisers that he’d welcome a live appearance before the committee, according to sources familiar with his thinking, but he has yet to say publicly whether he’ll cooperate. He has denounced the committee and the Jan. 6 investigation.
[In] a 14-page
memo screed addressed to committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and posted to social media on Friday, Trump did not answer whether he would comply with the subpoena to testify. He instead continued his attacks on the panel and continued to make false claims about the 2020 election.
“This memo is being written to express our anger, disappointment, and complaint … with all of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on what many consider to be a Charade and Witch Hunt,” he wrote.
Expect service to be completed in short order.