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Trump could face liability for social media conduct in E. Jean Carroll civil rape trial

The judge gave a warning following the former president’s social media posting during a trial at which Trump has not appeared.


Donald Trump’s legal peril in the E. Jean Carroll rape and defamation trial could extend beyond potential liability in the case itself, thanks to the former president’s social media posts this week attacking his accuser.

In posts to his social media site on Wednesday, the former president and 2024 Republican hopeful — who appears unlikely to face Carroll in court — deemed the case "fraudulent" and a “SCAM." He mentioned issues that Judge Lewis Kaplan previously ruled off limits for the jury, including the matter of DNA and Carroll’s dress from the day of the alleged assault in the mid-1990s.

Kaplan said Trump's comments appeared to be "entirely inappropriate" and could risk new legal trouble for him.

"We are getting into an area, conceivably, in which your client may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability," Kaplan told Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina in court on Wednesday. "I think you know what I mean."

MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance pointed out obstruction of justice crimes that could be in play with Trump:

The Carroll case, whose jury is already anonymous due to Trump concerns, isn’t the only one in which the former president’s social media postings could land him in additional trouble.

I noted earlier this week that, in his criminal hush money case in state court in Manhattan, prosecutors want a protective order regarding how Trump can access and use evidence. Among prosecutors’ asks is barring the former president from sharing information on social media, and they noted they could charge Trump with contempt if he violates the order they’re seeking.

So Trump's legal troubles could be mounting due to his out-of-court conduct, even on top of the liability he potentially faces in court.