Updated Aug 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge throws out Trump's counter lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll

 E. Jean Carroll departs the Southern District of New York Court on Pearl Street on April 26, 2023.

Writer E. Jean Carroll leaving the Southern District of New York Court in April. Photo: Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday threw out a counter defamation lawsuit former President Trump filed against writer E. Jean Carroll after she won her sexual abuse suit against him earlier this year.

Why it matters: The ruling at least puts a temporary end to Trump's efforts to get a new trial or a decrease in the $5 million in damages a jury ordered him to pay to Carroll.

  • Trump has always maintained his innocence and claimed in the countersuit that Carroll had defamed him by maintaining that he raped her after the jury's verdict in May.
  • The jury did not find Trump liable for rape in the trial, though it was one of the types of battery the jurors were instructed to consider by the judge.

What they're saying: Robbie Kaplan, Carroll's attorney, said the dismissal means that a trial over her original, ongoing defamation lawsuit against Trump, which is scheduled to begin on Jan. 15, 2024, "will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn't take very long to complete."

  • "E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019," Kaplan added.

The big picture: The Department of Justice said in a court filing last month that it would no longer defend Trump in Carroll's ongoing lawsuit.

  • It added that he should not be granted immunity from the lawsuit because he was not acting within the scope of office when he denied a writer's rape accusations and made allegedly defamatory remarks about her in 2019.
  • A New York judge in June allowed Carroll to amend the ongoing lawsuit to include damage claims over remarks Trump made about her during a televised CNN town hall event earlier this year.
  • Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated additional comment from E. Jean Carroll's attorney.

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