Trump may testify in E Jean Carroll defamation trial today: Live updates

Donald Trump beats Nikki Haley in New Hampshire

Donald Trump’s defamation trial is set to resume in New York on Thursday morning after it was postponed earlier this week over concerns that both the jury and defence team had been exposed to Covid-19.

The former president had been expected to testify against complainant E Jean Carroll on Monday.

He is now expected to take the stand when the trial resumes today.

A previous jury has already found Mr Trump liable for sexually abusing Ms Carroll in department store dressing room in the mid-1990s and for subsequently defaming her.

He continues to vigoriously deny the allegations and, on Wednesday night, unleashed a series of attacks on Truth Social against the former Elle magazine columnist and the “Trump Hater” judge in the case.

“I’m heading back to New York City for a trial based on False Accusations, from perhaps decades ago,” he fumed.

This comes after the Republican front-runner celebrated his victory in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary by mocking his last remaining opponent Nikki Haley as his grip on the party grows ever stronger.

Mr Trump called Ms Haley an “imposter” and expressed anger at her refusal to drop out of the race.

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Mitch McConnell is the main reason Trump is back

Shortly after Trump won in New Hampshire, Senator John Cornyn announced his support for him.

Why does that matter? Because Cornyn is far from a Trumpist.

In fact, the square-jawed Republican from Texas negotiated a gun bill alongside Democratic senator Chris Murphy and then-Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema that Trump vehemently opposed.

Cornyn’s support shows that all Republicans — from the furthest right to the most moderate — are now falling into line behind the former president.

In fact, Trump continues to have Republican leaders get behind him save for one major voice: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump and McConnell’s relationship is well-documented: the two worked hand-in-glove to confirm a slew of judges, including the three Supreme Court justices who killed Roe v Wade; while they failed to repeal Obamacare, they collaborated to pass massive tax cuts.

But their relationship irrevocably broke after the January 6 insurrection. Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, resigned from the Trump administration as secretary of transportation after rioters violently attempted to breach her husband’s office.

But as much as the two many not like each other — Trump has taken to calling McConnell “Old Crow” — and as much as the two may not want to admit it, McConnell’s decision not to convict Trump likely facilitated his return to the top of the Republican Party.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 13:45

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Trump’s live appearances pose a riddle that news executives still haven’t solved

Even as Trump seeks his third straight Republican presidential nomination, his live appearances still present an unsolved riddle for many news outlets: How do you cover him?

The question hung in the air as CNN, MSNBC and some streaming outlets started – then stopped – showing Trump’s speech following Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. There was little hand-wringing at Fox News Channel and Newsmax, networks that appeal to Trump supporters. They carried the former president’s remarks in full.

Outlets weigh whether an event’s newsworthiness justifies live coverage when there’s a risk Trump will make false statements that are difficult, if not impossible, to correct in real time – or go completely off script with something entirely unexpected.

And as a year of campaign and courtroom events loom, news executives will face similar decisions again and again.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 13:15

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Trump’s election denial movement is the real primaries winner

The true winner of the Republican primaries so far has been Trump’s bogus conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from him, with a vast majority of his supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire agreeing, falsely, that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected.

Eighty-six per cent of New Hampshire primary voters who supported Mr Trump believe that the current president is an illegitimate one, according to exit polls.

Here’s Alex Woodward with more.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 12:45

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Trump due back in court as E Jean Carroll trial resumes

The intrepid Ariana Baio is watching proceedings for us today at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in Lower Manhattan with Trump set to return for the resumption of the E Jean Carroll defamation trial today.

She reports that the crowd outside is almost as busy as it was on opening arguments day, presumably in anticipation of Trump himself taking to the stand to testify and saying something spicy.

She also notes the heavy downpour and suggests that heavy rain accompanies Trump whenever he returns to his old hometown, a phenomenon the English literature professors will tell you is known as pathetic fallacy.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 12:30

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Haley is the last Republican bulwark against Trump

Nikki Haley is the last Republican candidate standing between Donald Trump and the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

When she announced her run on 14 February 2023, she became the first woman of colour to be a major candidate for the GOP nomination and the first woman governor to run for the top job.

As the last bulwark of the old pre-2016 Republican establishment standing in Trump’s way, the former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor has vowed to remain in the race until at least the primary in her home state on 24 February, but polling has her around 30 points behind Trump there.

Top state officials, such as current governor Henry McMcMaster and senator Tim Scott, who Ms Haley appointed to the Senate and who previously dropped out of the presidential race, are backing Trump in what some see as a cynical attempt to elevate themselves for jobs in a possible second Trump administration in January 2025.

Here’s Gustaf Kilander on her chances.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 12:15

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Voices: New Hampshire ‘victory speech’ made it obvious Trump is scared

Here’s Holly Baxter on Trump betraying his true fears during his angry victory speech on Tuesday night in which he repeatedly attack Haley for not dropping out and behaving, as he saw it, as though she had won.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 11:45

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United Auto Workers union formally endorses Biden for president

This is a blow to Trump as he attempts to appeal to blue collar America by insisting President Biden is not the right man to steer the country’s economy back to pre-pandemic prosperity.

United Auto Workers union formally endorses Joe Biden for president

The United Auto Workers (UAW) formally endorsed Joe Biden’s re-election campaign on Wednesday 24 January. The endorsement comes after months of speculation over whether the powerful auto union would stand behind the 46th president. “Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker,” UAW president, Shawn Fain, told the conference. “If our endorsement must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.” Mr Biden last year became the first US president to walk a picket line when he joined striking autoworkers outside a Michigan auto plant.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 11:15

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Susan Collins under fire for Trump ballot stance

The Republican senator for Maine is facing an onslaught of criticism after arguing on X that Trump should be on the ballot in her state, rejecting Shenna Bellows’ decision to exclude him under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits insurrectionists from returning to public office.

You may remember Collins heavily hinting that she would vote for Trump’s first impeachment in the Senate before bottling it and saying she was sure he’d learned his lesson.

A deadly riot, a second impeachment and 91 felony charges later, history is not looking kindly on her contention.

And nor are her fellow X users.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 10:45

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Maine Supreme Court refuses to weigh in on Trump 2024 ballot eligibility

Maine’s top court declined to weigh in on whether former president Donald Trump can stay on the state’s ballot on Wednesday evening, keeping intact a judge’s decision that the US Supreme Court must first rule on a similar case in Colorado.

Democratic secretary of state Shenna Bellows concluded that Trump didn’t meet ballot qualifications under the insurrection clause in the US Constitution but a judge put that decision on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the similar case in Colorado.

In a unanimous decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Bellows’ appeal of the order requiring her to await the US Supreme Court decision before withdrawing, modifying or upholding her decision to keep Trump off the primary ballot on Super Tuesday.

“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion. This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case,” the court said.

Bellows’ decision in December that Trump was ineligible made her the first election official to ban the Republican front-runner from the ballot under the 14th Amendment. In Colorado, the state supreme court reached the same conclusion.The timelines are tight as Maine’s 5 March primary approaches.

The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the Colorado case on 8 February and Maine has already begun mailing overseas ballots.The nation’s highest court has never ruled on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Some legal scholars say the post-Civil War clause applies to Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and encouraging his backers to storm the US Capitol after he lost to Joe Biden.

Trump contends Bellows should have recused herself and that she was biased against him. Trump said her actions disenfranchised voters in Maine and were part of a broader effort to keep him off the ballot.

Bellows, who was elected by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, said she was bound by state law to make a determination after several residents challenged Trump’s right to be on the primary ballot. She put her decision on Trump’s ballot eligibility on hold pending judicial proceedings, and vowed that she would abide by a court’s ultimate ruling.

Here’s Martha McHardy’s report.

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 10:15

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Truth Social: Trump lashes out at E Jean Carroll in social media rampage ahead of testimony

Also on social media last night, Trump was up late raging at the woman he will come face to face with once again in a Lower Manhattan courtroom today, again firing out a deluge of old social media posts of hers he disapproves of and claiming never to have even met her before.

Here he is raging about having to return to New York “for a trial based on False Accusations, from perhaps decades ago”, adding: “The Federal Judge in this Second Biden Political Opponent ‘Trial’ is extraordinarily hostile to me – Sadly, and I don’t know why, a 100% Trump Hater. He knows I did nothing wrong, but is looking to do a number on me. Only in America!”

Joe Sommerlad25 January 2024 09:45


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