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Trump, saying judge restricted his testimony, seeks new trial in E. Jean Carroll case

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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is seeking a new trial in the defamation case brought by former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, arguing that the judge in the case improperly restricted his testimony.

Trump in January was ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages to Carroll for defaming her in 2019 when he denied her allegation that he sexually abused her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Trump spent less than five minutes on the witness stand, during which he testified that “I just wanted to defend myself, my family and frankly the presidency.”

Judge Lewis Kaplan instructed the jury to disregard the remark because it fell outside the bounds of what Trump was allowed to say.

In a court filing Tuesday, defense attorneys argued “the Court’s restrictions on President Trump’s testimony were erroneous and prejudicial” because Trump was not allowed to explain “his own mental state” when he made the defamatory statements about Carroll.

“This Court’s erroneous decision to dramatically limit the scope of President Trump’s testimony almost certainly influenced the jury’s verdict, and thus a new trial is warranted,” defense attorneys Alina Habba and John Sauer said.

The defense also asked Judge Kaplan to reduce the $83.3 million damage award, arguing it “surpasses the permissible bounds for such damages and exceeds comparable awards” in the Southern District of New York.

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