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Jurors in Trump Defamation Case Will Be Anonymous

The legal system works extremely slowly. Donald Trump is involved in half a dozen cases, some of them going back over 25 years, but so far it is all talk and no action. Finally, on April 25, one of the cases involving Trump will come to trial. It is the case that E. Jean Carroll brought against Trump. She claimed he raped her in a Manhattan department store in 1994 or 1995. He called her a liar and she sued him for defamation. Finally she will get her day in court. Note that this is a civil lawsuit. Even if Trump loses, he won't go to prison, but the judge could order him to pay her mucho money. He will appeal and it will go on until both of them are dead.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is worried that Trump might try to intimidate the jurors, so he took the unusual step of deciding that their identities will not be made public. Neither lawyer objected, although the AP and The New York Daily News did. This is not the first time a judge has ordered jurors to be anonymous, but it is more common in trials of mafia dons than in civil lawsuits. In his announcement, Kaplan noted that Trump has attacked the foreperson of the Georgia grand jury looking into whether to charge him with crimes related to election interference and was concerned Trump might go after the jury members in Carroll's case.

The judge didn't disclose the seating arrangements in the courtroom for the trial. He could put the jury behind some kind of curtain, translucent glass, or one-way mirror to protect them. He might even put them in a separate room and have them watch the trial on video. In any event, barring any unexpected further delays, Trump will go on trial in a month. Of course, he can try to avoid this by offering her enough money to settle the case. On the other hand, she might be so angry with him that she won't accept, no matter what he offers. (V)

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