Judge Orders Trump Defamation Deposition To Be Released

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After a decision by federal Judge Lewis Kaplan to direct that a transcript outlining some of Donald Trump’s deposition in litigation from writer E. Jean Carroll be made public, Trump’s legal team has withdrawn a request for what it looks like would be other portions of the deposition to remain hidden from public view. That seemingly sets up the imminent release of those materials.

The portions of Trump’s deposition previously made available showed him, among other high-profile moments, saying he both wrote and posted an infamous message on Truth Social late last year in which he once again maligned Carroll’s appearance. Carroll has revealed an account of alleged sexual assault perpetrated by Donald Trump against her in the 1990s, over which she originally challenged Trump in court with a defamation claim covering his initial response to her account. Much more recently, Carroll added additional allegations of defamation covering those remarks on Truth Social — and claims specifically covering what she has said originally happened — to the bevy of litigation she’s filed. When Trump was asked in his deposition about the October 2022 comments, Carroll hadn’t yet made the remarks the subject of her later case.

Trump making the comments means Carroll can still legally challenge him over allegations of defamation no matter what any judge decides about whether legal protections associated with the presidency cover the other comments he made some time ago when in office. In his deposition, Trump also provided a staggeringly inaccurate retelling of an interview Carroll did on CNN in which she discussed the originally alleged incident. According to Trump, Carroll originally said she liked what happened — which is not what took place. Carroll was discussing broader perceptions of circumstances of sexual violence. “She actually indicated that she loved it,” Trump commented. “Okay? She loved it until commercial break. In fact, I think she said it was sexy, didn’t she? She said it was very sexy to be raped. Didn’t she say that?” Again, that’s not accurate — and him putting forward this recollection in the form of a question didn’t indicate some kind of legitimated interest in finding the truth.

He stuck rather confidently to his claimed — and bonkers — recollection throughout further questioning. Trump also, of course, continues facing other legal challenges, including the civil lawsuit from New York state Attorney General Letitia James over years of alleged financial misconduct at his business centering on deceptively valued assets. That case was recently upheld by a judge and continues.