E. Jean Carroll case: Court approves Donald Trump’s $92 million bond

E. Jean Carroll case
E. Jean Carroll case: The nearly $92 million bond former President Donald Trump proposed to block advice columnist E. Jean Carroll from pursuing his assets was approved by a New York federal court Tuesday.

The bond, which Carroll’s legal team didn’t object to after Trump’s team agreed to a slight modification of the details, will prevent her from collecting on her $83.3 million defamation trial win against the Republican national frontrunner while the appeal Trump filed on Friday runs its course. The bond is designed to ensure E. Jean Carroll will be able to collect on the judgment if Trump loses his appeal.

The major win for E. Jean Carroll came after a judge limited the January trial to the issue of damages, ruling that a separate jury’s verdict in May that Trump had sexually abused E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her in 2022 meant two lengthy denials he issued as president in 2019 were also defamatory. In those denials, which were made soon after E. Jean Carroll came forward with her sexual assault allegations, Trump said she is “trying to sell a new book” and “people should pay dearly for such false accusations.”

Ongoing Trump attacks
Carroll’s legal team argued at trial that, with his 2019 statements, Trump unleashed his followers to go after E. Jean Carroll and it was now his turn to “pay dearly” for what he has done. They urged jurors to hit the self-proclaimed billionaire with punitive damages that were large enough to get him to stop defaming Carroll.

Even during the trial, in which Carroll testified to receiving death threats and sleeping with a gun near her bed, Trump continued attacking her on social media, including posting that he “NEVER TOUCHED HER, OR IN ANY WAY WOULD WANT TO TOUCH HER,” despite having previously confused Carroll in a photograph for his former wife, Marla Maples.

The jury returned a verdict of $65 million in punitive damages and $18.3 million more in compensatory damages. Trump has filed a motion that is still pending asking the trial judge to give him a new trial or reduce the damages. Trump has also asked to be declared the winner of the case despite the jury’s verdict.

Scrambling after court losses
Trump posted the bond as he was running up against a deadline of early this week before Carroll could begin collection actions. He appeared to be feeling the pressure recently as he scrambled under the weight of not just the Carroll verdict, but also a New York civil fraud loss that already totals more than $450 million, with interest that continues to grow.

Trump only posted the bond after Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his request last week to delay Carroll’s ability to collect until three business days after Kaplan rules on an earlier request by Trump to block her from collecting until 30 days after Kaplan rules on Trump’s post-trial motions. Kaplan said Trump’s predicament arose from “his own dilatory actions” because he waited 25 days after the jury verdict to request the longer-term shield.

Separately, a New York state appellate judge denied Trump’s request in the civil fraud case to post just $100 million to block the New York attorney general from collecting on that judgment. Unless Trump can find some relief beforehand, he’ll be vulnerable to collection actions in that case in late March.

On Monday morning, Carroll’s legal team told Kaplan they and Trump’s team had resolved a dispute about how long the bonding company has to pay Carroll in the event that Trump’s appeal runs out, he doesn’t pay the judgment, and Carroll promptly sends notice. His team had proposed 60 days from when the appeal concludes, but after discussions they agreed to 30, Carroll’s team said.

Kaplan approved the bond in a Tuesday order after a Trump lawyer submitted documentation reflecting the agreement with Carroll’s team.

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