Trump Liable in Rape Case

The jury awarded $5 million in damages

WaPo (“Jury finds that Trump sexually abused E. Jean Carroll, awards $5 million in damages“):

A jury has found that Trump sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll, and awarded $5 million in damages. Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her during a chance encounter at a Manhattan department store. He has denied her allegations, calling her a liar. Carroll sued him last year for battery and defamation.

It’s a breaking story, so presumably more detail will be forthcoming. I’m not sure more is needed.

To be sure, this was a civil case, not a criminal one. He’s not “guilty” of the crime of rape but liable for damages in a defamation case. But a jury found it more likely than not that he sexually assaulted Carroll and then lied and belittled her when she made the accusation publicly.

I doubt it’ll significantly impact Trump’s standing with Republicans. At this point, I don’t know what possibly could. But it should further erode his appeal among independents.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kathy says:

    At this point, I don’t know what possibly could.

    An expression of contrition, and an apology for his past behavior.

  2. CSK says:

    I just hope the identities of the jurors aren’t leaked, because their lives will become an unending stream of death threats and other forms of harassment.

  3. Beth says:

    My guess is that the deposition in this case is exactly why they fought so hard to keep Mueller from deposing him. Fortunately or unfortunately…

  4. CSK says:


    I think you’re exactly right. Trump lies. About everything. All the time. They’ll keep him off the stand in the criminal trial as well.

  5. Paul L. says:

    E. Jean Carroll is as credibly as Christine Blasey Ford.
    The even more credible Crystal Mangum should sue her abusers in New York.

  6. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    There is a wonderful symmetry/irony between a party that frames trans-gender folks as being a potential threat to women in bathrooms – supporting a candidate who actually sexually abused a woman in a…checks notes…changing room.
    Sadly, James is correct.
    It won’t change much…but maybe around the edges.

  7. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

  8. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    Curious as to why, if Christine Blasey Ford was as not credible as you claim, the GOP didn’t allow a full investigation into her charges?
    Curious as to why, if E. Jean Carroll is as not credible as you claim, did Trump not show up in court and confront her – as HE CLAIMED he was going to?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:


  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: I know, right? And people are talking about Biden’s mental fitness? Trump had the demeanor and mental capacity of someone in the beginning stages of dementia. The inability to control his thoughts and words – boom, says the first thing that comes into his head with no understanding of the impact it was having. The nasty lashing out. It will be interesting to see what kind of debate format his team jams down the RNC to insure he doesn’t have to respond to any real questions.

  11. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Yes – he IS being treated worse – and they were all murderized.
    He truly is the savior that we need.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    Wait, is that guy the one who is absolutely obsessed with women accusing men of abuse? The one that used to pop in here several years ago to angrily bring up the Duke Lacrosse case regardless of what we were talking about? Probably a very disturbing story behind his behavior…

  13. Kathy says:

    I wonder if sexual predators stick together.

  14. Paul L. says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Christine Blasey Ford had no location and the decade of the 80s.
    E. Jean Carroll has a location and the decade of the 90s.
    Of course, The FBI was shown to be unequaled investigators of sexual assault in the Larry Nassar case.

  15. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    It will be interesting to see what kind of debate format his team jams down the RNC to insure he doesn’t have to respond to any real questions.

    It will be interesting to see how CNN handles the Town Hall they have scheduled with him tomorrow evening.

  16. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    So you have no answer…just word salad.

  17. daryl and his brother darryl says:


  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: Of course they do! Which makes me wonder about our resident Paul L. Either he’s a troll, or he’s got activity in his own background that he doesn’t want to confess to.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: Hence, they weren’t allowed to really investigate Kavanaugh. You never know what nincompoops might accidentally uncover.

  20. Paul L. says:

    @MarkedMan: @MarkedMan:
    Just upset at being gaslighted that the press and NAACP was not wrong about the case and being told by progressives like Amanda Marcotte that the subject is verboten as the narrative is too toxic, hurtful and insulting.
    I enjoy using all the MeToo arguments against that GOP rape apologist steel man.

  21. drj says:

    A true champion of Christian values.

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @Paul L.: We’re talking about Trump and his liability here. He has been judged, by 12 jurors in the State of New York, to be liable for sexual assault and defamation.

    Your attempting to derail the conversation shows your inability to admit what Trump did.

  23. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Nine jurors, actually. But the point still stands.

  24. CSK says:

    Before he dismissed them, Judge Kaplan directed the jurors not to identify themselves or others on the panel, because they might be killed.

  25. Hal_10000 says:

    Once again, Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. If he’d just denied the claim, he’d have been fine. But he had to say he’d never met her — an easily proven lie. And then he had to say she was too ugly to assault — which tripped him up when his misidentified her as his ex-wife.

    The Democrats have never scored as many points on Trump as he scores on himself.

  26. Paul L. says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Trump convicted of Defamation.

    The problem for Trump’s critics claiming they can now call him a “sexual abuser” is the simple fact that a New York jury determined E. Jean Carroll lied when she claimed she had been raped 30 years ago. The only thing Democrats can claim is that New York juries do not like the former president.

  27. JKB says:

    And CNN is giving Trump a primetime national forum tonight.

    Maybe they get Trump, but history would indicate that Trump is going to have a good time.

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @Paul L.: Do you know how law in the U.S. works? You seem to have confused with “not convicted” with “other side lied.” That’s not how it goes.

    Or are you willing to state that Trump and his coterie lied for every single one of those 60+ election cases that got thrown out by the courts?

    Better go back to junior high and repeat your U.S.Civics class, boyo.