Updated Jan 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump gives brief testimony in E. Jean Carroll defamation trial

: Donald Trump is seen on January 25, 2024 in New York City.

Former President Trump is seen on Jan. 25 in New York City. Photo: GWR/Star Max/GC Images

Former President Trump testified briefly Thursday in his defense in the ongoing E. Jean Carroll defamation trial, according to multiple reports.

Why it matters: The short courtroom spectacle came two days after his victory in the New Hampshire primary that cemented his status as the Republican frontrunner.

  • Trump, facing a mountain of legal peril, has now taken the witness stand in at least two different cases he faces in New York over the span of a few months. He also testified in November in his New York civil fraud trial.

Driving the news: The judge overseeing the case, Lewis A. Kaplan, set restrictions on Trump's testimony and said that he would not be able to argue that he did not sexually abuse or defame Carroll.

  • Trump's lawyer asked him if he ever instructed anybody to hurt Carroll in his statements.
  • "No, I just wanted to defend myself, my family and, frankly, the presidency," Trump said in response.

Zoom in: Trump's testimony lasted less than five minutes and the defense rested its case shortly after the former president testified, according to the New York Times.

The big picture: The trial, which began earlier this month, will determine how much the former president must pay in damages to Carroll after he had been found liable in another trial for defamatory remarks he made against her when he denied her rape accusations in 2019.

What's next: The court is expected to resume on Friday morning with closing arguments.

Go deeper: After big win in Iowa, Trump takes campaign back to court

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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