Judge Uses Trump’s Words Against Him, Ordering New Restrictions For Trial

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Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who will preside over additional court proceedings to determine potentially further monetary penalties on former President Donald Trump for largely upheld defamation allegations from writer E. Jean Carroll, has directed that the jury for that forthcoming trial be kept anonymous. The legal teams participating in the case will not have access to jurors’ personal details, which even includes their names.

In a court order directing his decision, in which he also noted he’d received no opposition to the move, Kaplan pointed squarely to personal conduct by former President Trump, who throughout the many court cases against him has routinely targeted his opponents in highly personal language, setting a clear, rhetorical stage for the threat of violence perpetrated by extremists supporting him.

“In view of Mr. Trump’s repeated public statements with respect to the plaintiff and court in this case as well as in other cases against him, and the extensive media coverage that this case already has received and that is likely to increase once the trial is imminent or underway, the Court finds that there is strong reason to believe the jury requires the protections prescribed below. No less restrictive alternative has been suggested,” the judge said.

Besides hiding personal details for whoever is eventually selected to participate in that panel, Kaplan also outlined protective measures like U.S. Marshals keeping the jurors together during recesses. It sounds like they won’t be sequestered, though, meaning they can go home during trial.

Carroll has said she suffered an incident of sexual assault perpetrated by Trump, allegations that were already largely upheld at an earlier trial. Her claims of defamation have stemmed from Trump’s characteristically furious, belittling responses to her initial statements about being targeted via sexual assault. Meanwhile, evidence continues mounting of the impact of Trump’s words. In a separate New York case alleging fraud, presiding Judge Arthur Engoron recently revealed a large number of threats faced by the court in connection to the proceedings ensnaring Trump.