After a civil jury in New York federal court found a preponderance of the evidence showed Donald Trump sexually assaulted and defamed journalist E. Jean Carroll, legal experts are calling the decision an “overwhelming win” that has “vindicated” the journalist.
Carroll, who had not asked for any specific amount of monetary damages, was awarded $5 million, which Trump will have to pay. Throughout the trial she said she wanted to take back her life.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen. He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back,” Carroll had told jurors.
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi listed all the allegations Trump was found liable for: Sexual Abuse, Forcible Touching, Injury of E. Jean Carroll, Willful and Wanton Negligence, Defamation, False Statements, Malicious Intent, Injury for Defamation, and Acting Maliciously.
Tristan Snell, an attorney who helped successfully prosecute the Trump University case for the New York Attorney General’s Office, says “Trump is LIABLE and must pay damages to Carroll.”
“This was a civil case, not criminal. So no one is ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ here, and no one was ‘convicted.’ But this is a clear and resounding jury verdict finding Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation.”
“The man who said ‘stars’ have been assaulting women for 1 million years, ‘unfortunately or fortunately,’ now owes one of those women 5 million dollars,” Snell adds.
“Find 9 random New Yorkers and we probably can’t agree on ANYTHING,” he concludes. “Except that Donald Trump is a sexual predator.”
A former federal prosecutor of more than 20 years, Elizabeth de la Vega says: “The jury didn’t find that Trump DIDN’T rape Ms. Carroll, but that he’s not liable for rape because that allegation wasn’t proved by a preponderance of evidence — a reasonable conclusion that in no way diminishes Ms. Carroll’s overwhelming win.”
“The speed with which the jury reached this verdict is, of itself, a testament to the validity of Ms. Carroll’s case and the seriousness with which the jury viewed the allegations,” she adds.
“There’s no doubt the jury fully credited Carroll’s testimony,” notes former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance. “They found for her on battery & on defamation, which required them to believe Trump acted with reckless disregard for the truth. That they awarded her $5 mil in damages confirms the strength of their belief.”
“E. Jean Carroll didn’t just get her day in court,” says MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin. “She was vindicated on both her sexual assault and defamation claims—and if I heard correctly, awarded $5 million in total damages by a jury of 6 men and 3 women. Stunning and gratifying—& all because of several corroborators.”
Professor of law Moe Davis, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, former judge, and former Chief Prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions, referred to the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. He notes that the jury found Trump “did exactly what he told Billy Bush was his normal course of deviant, degenerate, immoral conduct.”
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann on MSNBC calls the ruling pretty much “bulletproof,” saying it would likely stand up to any possible appeal Trump might file.
Attorney Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate who writes about the law observes, “Not just a win for E Jean and her team. She put everything out there. But for the friends who believed her and testified at personal cost. It takes systems to subvert systems. Ours are not always visible but they are mighty.”
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Moms for Liberty Deletes Statement Supporting Co-Founder Whose Husband Is Accused of Sexual Battery
The far-right Christian nationalist organization Moms for Liberty issued, then later deleted, a statement declaring support for its co-founder after her husband, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party, was accused of sexual battery by a woman who allegedly has had a consensual “three-way sexual relationship” with the married couple.
“The Sarasota Police Department is investigating a sexual battery allegation against Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler, a political bombshell in the home state of former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis,” The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
“The alleged sexual battery occurred inside the woman’s home in Sarasota last month,” the nonpartisan Florida Center for Government Accountability adds, citing a police report. “According to sources close to the investigation, she said she and both Zieglers had been involved in a longstanding consensual three-way sexual relationship prior to the incident.”
The FLCGA also reports the “complaint was filed on October 4 and the alleged sexual battery occurred inside the woman’s home in Sarasota on October 2, according to the [police] report. Among the few words that went unredacted in the report are ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault complaint.'”
“Christian Ziegler is also alleged to have secretly videotaped the sexual encounters between the couple and the woman, sources said,” the FLCGA added.
Bridget Ziegler, the Moms for Liberty co-founder and the spouse of Christian Ziegler, “has become a star within the MAGA movement,” the FLCGA notes, adding she was “personally endorsed for her school board seat by Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who also appointed her in March to the state board that oversees the special district previously overseen by Disney World prior to DeSantis’s politically motivated feud with the entertainment company.”
Moms for Liberty was named an anti-government extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Thursday afternoon Moms for Liberty responded to the fast-spreading news reports, issuing a statement on the social media platform X saying they “stand with” Bridget Ziegler.
“Yet another attempt today to ruin the reputation of a strong woman fighting for America,” the group said, calling her a “badass” in a post that has since been deleted. Florida’s Voice confirmed the deletion.
In 2021, Donald Trump at a Florida rally thanked then-Florida GOP vice chair, now Chairman Christian Ziegler, calling him a “friend,” someone who “made our country great,” and a “warrior.”
Watch below or at this link.
‘Outrage’: MSNBC Slammed for Canceling ‘Vital Voice’ Mehdi Hasan
It’s being called a “revamp,” an “overhaul,” and a “shakeup,” but media critics, journalists, and journalism experts are expressing outrage at MSNBC for its decision to cancel the weekend show anchored by Mehdi Hasan, who many see as an important voice against authoritarianism and the far-right.
Calling Hasan an “outspoken opinion host,” and “a cult favorite online for his tough interview style and impassioned monologues,” Semafor‘s Max Tani reported MSNBC “privately announced” the cancellation of Hasan’s show Thursday morning. Hasan “will become an on-camera analyst and fill-in host. The network plans to expand host Ayman Mohyeldin’s weekend program to two hours to replace Hasan’s show.”
MSNBC is also moving Jonathan Capehart’s show to 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, and is cancelling Yasmin Vossoughian’s weekend show.
The cable network will launch a new weekend show, “The Weekend,” which Mediaite reports “is billed as a politics and Washington-focused program. It will be hosted from Washington D.C. by MSNBC anchors Alicia Menendez, Symone Sanders-Townsend and Michael Steele on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 10 a.m. ET. Both Sanders-Townsend and Menendez will be leaving their weekend programs to join the new show.
“Hasan has come under fire recently over his coverage of the Gaza war, specifically from conservative critics angry over his pro-Palestinian stance,” The Daily Beast adds. “Last month, Semafor reported that Hasan was one of three Muslim broadcasters who had been quietly pulled from the anchor’s desk following the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack. A network official vehemently denied Semafor’s reporting that Hasan and others had been sidelined.”
“The same criticism Hasan has received over Israel-Hamas coverage from media rivals, however, has also followed fellow Muslim-American colleagues Velshi and Mohyeldin, who have retained their shows and even seen their roles expanded. Furthermore, as Confider reported in September, the revamped weekend lineup was already being hashed out prior to the start of the conflict in Gaza.”
Many, including those who have been critical of some of Hasan’s views, are expressing anger and outrage over the cancellation of his show, and concern for the direction of corporate media in general.
“This is an outrage,” declared journalist and media critic Dan Froomkin.
“As the warning signs for authoritarianism are going off, why demote a journalist who is really good on this topic?” asked Don Moynihan, professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Wesley Lowery, now an associate professor of investigative journalism at American University, wrote on social media that Hasan “is the best on-camera newsmaker interviewer in journalism.” He suggested, “someone give him a livelier version of what Charlie Rose once did. If you vow to measure the impact of your investment based on the quality of the journalism, not ratings or clicks, I’ll EP the first season.”
“Without a doubt,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob, who writes a newsletter on politics and the media, Hasan “has been one of the most incisive anchors on MSNBC. The cancellation of his show is an outrage — and yet another example of how major media are failing us.”
“They still have a Republican former congressman hosting a show for like six hours every morning though right?” snarked political strategist, writer, and former Media Maters executive vice president Jamison Foser.
“Wow,” exclaimed Max Burns, a Democratic strategist and columnist. Hasan “is easily one of the sharpest, toughest, best-researched interviewers working today. His back-and-forths with politicians both left and right should be models for how to do the job effectively. What a ridiculous decision.”
Burns continued, writing: “I look at bizarre news like this and think to myself, if this industry is tossing aside singular forces of journalism like Mehdi, what hope is there for anyone? Clearly doing the job well isn’t protection from corporate decisions.
Sherrilyn Ifill, the civil rights attorney, professor of law and former Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), wrote that Hasan “has shown over and over again that he is so good at his craft. His is the journalistic rigor we need in this age of misinformation, lies, and wanna be celebrities masquerading as public servants. I cannot imagine not wanting to elevate his platform.”
“Oh no,” declared David Rothkopf, the foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator, calling Hasan a “vital voice.”
“This is MSNBC’s loss. This is a cowardly move,” wrote conservative and former GOP congressman Joe Walsh, who said he and Hasan “disagree on plenty, especially with what’s happening in the Middle East. But Mehdi is an important and valuable voice. And he’s damn good at what he does. It’s so important that ALL viewpoints get heard. Bad move.”
In September Hasan “grilled” GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Watch that interview below or at this link.
Trump Gag Orders Reinstated
Just two days after Donald Trump allegedly used his social media account to target the wife of the judge presiding over New York’s civil business fraud case against him, an appellate court re-instated the gag orders banning him and his attorneys from making public statements about that judge’s principle law clerk.
“Court security officers said the clerk receives hundreds of threatening and harassing messages, spiking when Trump attacks her,” The Messenger reported.
The Messenger’s Adam Klasfeld posted the order denying Trump’s request to have the gag orders, imposed by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, lifted permanently.
Trump’s gag order barring him from attacking the judge’s clerk in his civil fraud case has been reinstated by an appellate court.
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 30, 2023
The “terse” order did not offer a detailed explanation, nor did it mention Trump’s alleged attacks against Judge Engoron’s wife.
“On his Truth Social platform on Tuesday, Trump shared at least four links about Justice Arthur Engoron’s wife, Dawn Marie Engoron,” Raw Story reported. “The reports were based on conservative activist Laura Loomer’s claim that Dawn Marie Engoron had shared derogatory information about the former president on social media. The Engorons have not confirmed ownership of the social media account or any connection to the posts.”
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