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Judge orders anonymous jury for E. Jean Carroll case against Trump

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(NEW YORK) — For the third time Friday, former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric is factoring into a court case against him.

A federal judge in New York said the upcoming civil defamation trial involving Trump and E. Jean Carroll will be heard by an anonymous jury, citing Trump’s “repeated public statements” about the case and the court.

As part of Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s order, the names of the jurors will not be revealed, they will be kept together during recesses and assigned a member from the U.S. Marshal Service who “shall take the petit jurors to, or provide them with, lunch as a group throughout the pendency of the trial,” and be transported together or in groups to an undisclosed location before they can return home.

The defamation trial is slated to begin in January.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, sued Trump in November 2019 over comments he made shortly after Carroll publicly accused him of raping her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the 1990s.

The former president said Carroll was “not my type” and suggested she fabricated her accusation for ulterior and improper purposes, including to increase sales of her then-forthcoming book, in statements following the allegations.

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The judge in the case has already determined that Trump’s statements were defamatory, so the January trial will only determine damages. Carroll is seeking $10 million.

Carroll prevailed in a second lawsuit in May that alleged defamation and battery, and she was awarded $5 million in damages. Trump is also appealing that case.

Kaplan’s order came the same day that the judge in the New York civil fraud trial expanded the gag order and the judge in the federal election tampering case paused hers pending appeal.

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