‘The Court was overtly hostile towards defense counsel and President Trump, and displayed preferential treatment towards Plaintiff’s counsel,’ his lawyer said.
Former President Donald Trump said he is interviewing attorneys to appeal a jury’s ruling stipulating that he must pay writer E. Jean Carroll $83 million.
“Any lawyer who takes a TRUMP CASE is either ‘CRAZY,’ or a TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT,” President Trump wrote on Jan. 30. “I will make my decision soon.”
He was represented during the trial by attorney Alina Habba, who represents him in the separate civil fraud trial in New York and other cases. After the verdict was issued in the Carroll case, Ms. Habba filed a letter to the court alleging that Judge Lewis Kaplan was biased.
“We believe, and will argue on appeal, that the Court was overtly hostile towards defense counsel and President Trump, and displayed preferential treatment towards Plaintiff’s counsel.”
In a court filing of her own on Jan. 30, Roberta Kaplan denied allegations that she was mentored by the judge, as Ms. Habba had alleged. She said they never interacted and suggested that she could sanction Ms. Habba.
In response, the Trump lawyer responded by saying she was asking a question about whether there was any truth to the report.
Ms. Habba responded in a letter, saying: “The purpose of the letter was simply to inquire as to whether there is any merit to a recently published New York Post story which reported on the alleged existence of such a relationship.”
This past week, a New York jury found that President Trump had damaged Ms. Carroll’s reputation in 2019 after she went public with her accusations. Jurors awarded her $18 million to compensate for the personal harm she experienced, then added $65 million more to punish President Trump.
A different jury concluded last May that President Trump assaulted Ms. Carroll in a Manhattan department store dressing room in 1996. Those jurors awarded Ms. Carroll $5 million.
The former president said he did not know Ms. Carroll and vehemently denied her allegations.
Days after the ruling, Ms. Carroll appeared in an MSNBC interview this past week with host Rachel Maddow and suggested they go shopping.
“I have such great ideas for all the good I’m going to do with this money,” Ms. Carroll said on the show, referring to the money.
“First thing, Rachel, you and I are going to go shopping. We’re going to get completely new wardrobes, new shoes, a motorcycle for [attorney Shawn] Crowley, a new fishing rod for [attorney Roberta Kaplan].”
“Rachel, what do you want? A penthouse? It’s yours, Rachel,” she stated. “You want France? You want to go fishing in France?”
Her lawyer then interjected and said her comments were “a joke.”
Among other things, his team wants higher courts to rule that President Trump was within his rights to deny Ms. Carroll’s allegations forcefully and suggest that she had ulterior motives.
“Everyone has a right to defend themselves,” his lawyer said.
President Trump’s lawyers also are contesting Judge Kaplan’s ruling that the jury in the second trial did not need to revisit whether the former president was liable for sexual assault, and that the judge unfairly limited what the Trump legal team could say in front of the jury.
Appeals will go to a panel of judges in New York. The appeals eventually could reach the U.S. Supreme Court for the justices to consider.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.