A New York judge warned Trump about what he called the trial a “witch hunt” on the social network Truth Social.
Former advice columnist E Jean Carroll has begun testifying in a civil trial where she claims former U.S. President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s and later defames her when she comes forward with her story.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he lied and said it didn’t happen,” Carroll said Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. “He lied and ruined my reputation and I’m here to get my life back.”
Trump did not appear in the New York courtroom, nor was he required to be.
However, ahead of Wednesday’s testimony, the former Republican president denounced the case on his social media site Truth Social as a “fabricated hoax” and a “witch hunt.”
The comments got his legal team reprimanded in court by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who warned Trump not to make comments on social media that could be seen as discrediting the trial.
“It seems to be that your client is basically trying to, of course, have a public dialogue with the one he’s citing, but what’s even more troubling is that in this case the jury is talking about things that don’t need to be talked about,” Card Puran told Trump’s lawyers.
The trial is one of many legal challenges facing the former president and is one of 34 criminal charges he was indicted in a separate trial last month.
The case also reignited attention to Trump’s history of derogatory remarks against women. For example, in a video released in October 2016, Trump publicly boasted that his celebrity status allowed him to sexually harass women without their consent.
Carroll, 79, alleges Trump cornered her in a department store dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996, forced her against a wall and raped her. She said she was able to escape after a few minutes.
Trump denied the allegation and said Carroll was not his “type.” The former president has repeatedly attacked her on social media, calling her case a “hoax,” a “lie” and a “total sham.”