A judge in New York admonished Trump for calling the trial a “witch hunt” on the social network Truth Social.
E Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist, has begun testifying in a civil trial where she alleges former US President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s and later defamed her when she came forward with her story.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he lied and said it didn’t happen,” Carroll said in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday. “He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back.”
Trump was not present at the court in New York and does not need to be.
However, ahead of Wednesday’s testimony, the former Republican president took to his social media site, Truth Social, to denounce the case as “a fabricated SCAM” and a “witch hunt.”
Those comments earned his legal team a reprimand in court from U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who warned Trump against making comments on social media that could be seen as discrediting the process.
“What seems to be the case is that your client is essentially trying to speak to his quote-unquote audience, but, what’s more disturbing, the jury in this case, about things that shouldn’t be spoken about,” Kaplan said. Trump’s lawyers.
The trial is one of many legal challenges facing the former president, as well as the 34 criminal charges he was charged with in a separate trial last month.
The case has also drawn renewed attention to Trump’s history of derogatory rhetoric towards women. For example, in October 2016, a video was released of Trump openly boasting that his celebrity status allowed him to grope women without their consent.
Carroll, now 79, has claimed that in late 1995 or early 1996, Trump cornered her in a department store locker room, forced her against the wall, and raped her. She said she was able to escape after a few minutes.
Trump has denied the allegation and has stated that Carroll is not his “type”. The former president has repeatedly attacked her on social media, calling her case a “hoax”, “lie” and “complete scam”.