Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said Thursday that E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer destroyed an argument from former President Donald Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba with “one question”.
Carroll, a former magazine columnist, is accusing Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s and then defamed her when he denied her claim.
Last year, a jury found Trump liable of sexually abusing Carroll and he was ordered to pay $5 million.
Judge Lewis Kaplan previously ruled that the new trial will only be limited to damages because the prior jury’s findings about sexual abuse and defamation can be carried over to this trial.
So, the ongoing trial is solely to determine monetary damages Trump must pay Carroll for defaming her.
In court, Habba is trying to prove damages Carroll suffered occurred before Trump publicly attacked her in 2019.
Carroll’s attorney Robbie Kaplan–no relation to the judge overseeing the case–asked her client if any of the attacks she received before Trump’s statement called her “a Democratic operative” or said that she “should be raped.”
“No, neither,” Carroll responded.
That one question “cut out” the legs of Habba’s argument that Carroll’s harassment is unrelated to Trump’s attack, according to Vance.
“Alina Habba spent much of her cross-ex trying to establish that Carroll’s damages happened before Trump called her a liar. Carroll’s lawyer Robbie Kaplan cut out that argument’s legs with one question,” Vance wrote on X/Twitter.
This comes as Habba is facing criticism over her performance in court defending the former president.
Ty Cobb, a former Trump’s White House attorney called Habba “embarrassing” and slammed her “minor league job” in court.
“She did a very you know, sort of minor league job of trying to introduce some evidence, and the judge was very patient with her,” Cobb said on CNN’s Outfront. “He gave her sort of two recesses or two opportunities to try to guide her through it himself, called a halt, and took a break with the hope that one of her colleagues could help her figure out how to do what it was that she intended. It was really sort of, you know, embarrassing.”