A judge warned former US president Donald Trump Wednesday, to stop posting on social media after he derided his civil rape trial as a “SCAM”, and mocked E. Jean Carroll for not screaming during the alleged attack.
Manhattan Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, called the posts “totally inappropriate” and told Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina, to get the former president to keep quiet about the case.
“(Trump) may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability,” Kaplan said, suggesting he could hold Trump in contempt of court. “And I think you know what I mean.”
Tacopina vowed to have a chat with Trump, who is a notoriously difficult client to control.
Trump isn’t expected to testify in the civil rape case filed by Carroll — or even show up to face his accuser.
But that hasn’t stopped him from taking to social media to mock the writer for supposedly not screaming when he allegedly attacked her in a [New York] Midtown department store changing room three decades ago.
“She didn’t scream? There are no witnesses? Nobody saw this? She never made a police complaint? SCAM!” Trump wrote on his social media site.
“Does anybody believe that I would take a then-almost 60 year old woman … into a tiny dressing room, and …. her,” he added.
Trump derided Carroll as “Miss Bergdorf Goodman,” a reference to the Fifth Avenue department store in which she claims the attack took place.
Trump also accused Carroll of being a political operative, a charge Kaplan had warned against raising in public.
The outburst from Trump came as testimony began in the trial in a lower Manhattan courtroom.
Trump hasn’t ruled out testifying, but legal experts believe it is highly unlikely he would subject himself to cross-examination under oath.
Trump has called Carroll a “nutjob” who fabricated the rape claim to sell her book. Tacopina told jurors Tuesday that her story was wildly implausible and short of evidence.
Lawyers for Carroll and Trump delivered opening statements Tuesday in the explosive case, which took about five years to reach trial.
Along with myriad other legal woes, the civil trial stands to test Trump’s reputation for beating courtroom threats to his business and political empire.
It comes a month after he became the first former president to face criminal charges when he was indicted in an unrelated criminal case surrounding payments made to bury accounts of alleged extramarital sex with porn star Stormy Daniels.
Carroll’s suit is a civil case, meaning there is no chance Trump will be sent to prison.
The one-time advice columnist is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a retraction of Trump statements that she alleges were defamatory.