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Judge rejects Trump’s case against Carroll, extending losing streak

Donald Trump and his lawyers thought it'd be a good idea to file a counterclaim against E. Jean Carroll. Instead, they extended an ugly losing streak.

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Common sense suggests Donald Trump would make every effort to steer clear of E. Jean Carroll. It was, after all, just three months ago when the writer won a civil case against the former president: A jury found the Republican liable for sexually abusing Carroll, and jurors awarded the writer $5 million in damages for her battery and defamation claims. The jury did not, however, find the defendant liable for rape.

Soon after, Carroll appeared on CNN and was asked how she felt when the jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse, but not rape. “Well, I just immediately [said] in my own head: ‘Oh, yes, he did. Oh yes, he did,’” she responded.

As regular readers might recall, that sentence, according to the former president’s lawyers, defamed Trump — which is why the Republican, instead of avoiding Carroll, filed a counterclaim against her, seeking a retraction and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

That case, as NBC News reported, failed spectacularly as a federal judge in New York on Monday dismissed the case.

Trump filed his counterclaims against Carroll in June, alleging she defamed him by continuing to say publicly that he’d raped her even after a jury found him not liable for doing so. But, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan noted Monday, the jury did find Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll during an encounter in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the mid-1990s, and the details of that finding show that her having maintained that Trump raped her is “substantially true.”

The former president’s defense counsel vowed to appeal the ruling.

This comes just a few weeks after the same federal judge also rejected Team Trump’s request for a new trial, writing, “The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.’”

Kaplan added, “Mr. Trump’s attempt to minimize the sexual abuse finding as perhaps resting on nothing more than groping of Ms. Carroll’s breasts through her clothing is frivolous.” He went on to conclude that a jury clearly found that the former president had “‘raped’ her in the sense of that term broader than the New York Penal Law definition.”

The latest developments also come on the heels of Team Trump’s failed lawsuit against CNN. Which came on the heels of a failed effort to derail a looming indictment from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Which came a few months after Team Trump was sanctioned by a federal judge for filing frivolous litigation.

A few weeks ago, Trump peddled a curious boast via his social media platform. “These vicious Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Democrats have attacked my lawyers at a level never seen before, and yet I keep on winning,” the former president declared.

In reality, his losing streak is a sight to behold.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.

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