A judge denied an attempt by a Donald Trump ally to dismiss one of writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuits against the former president, on the grounds that he is being treated unfairly for being a “white Christian.”
Trump was unanimously found liable in May for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s, and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. Carroll has two more defamation lawsuits against Trump pending: one from 2019, and one from last month after he bashed Carroll during the CNN town hall.
James H. Brady, a friend of Trump’s, filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss the 2019 suit, saying he was “unwilling to sit silent and watch another white Christian be treated as poorly and unfairly as I personally have been treated” in the New York courts. Brady has been sanctioned by New York state and federal courts for filing so many lawsuits that he clogged up the system.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over Trump’s May trial, summarily dismissed Brady’s motion the next day. Kaplan explained that there are only two reasons for someone to intervene in a civil suit. One reason is an “intervention as of right,” meaning the person is entitled via federal statute or has a financial interest in the matter. The second is by “permission of the court,” meaning the person has been granted the conditional right to intervene, or they have a law- or fact-based defense for the main action in the lawsuit.
“Mr. Brady does not satisfy any of these criteria,” Kaplan said in his decision. “Accordingly, this motion is denied.”
Carroll accused Trump in her 2019 memoir of raping her in the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s. She initially sued him twice for defamation: first in 2019, when he said she made up the rape allegation to promote her book, and again in November for posts he made about her on social media. Her lawsuits are civil, not criminal, because she waited too long to report the assault to police.
A New York jury unanimously found Trump liable of sexual abuse and battery against Carroll and of defaming her in 2022. They recommended she be awarded a total of $5 million in damages.
Carroll is not the only woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault, but her case was the first to make it to a courtroom. Trump continues to vehemently deny all of the allegations, including by launching fresh vitriol at Carroll during the disastrous CNN town hall. So Carroll sued him for defamation again.
It hardly bears saying, but Trump is of course not being prosecuted (nor persecuted) for being a Christian. He’s being prosecuted because he’s a convicted sexual abuser who simply will not learn to keep his mouth shut.
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