A New York federal judge has ruled that an anonymous jury will be empaneled for the upcoming defamation trial involving former President Donald Trump and a writer who alleges sexual abuse by Trump in the 1990s. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s decision, issued on Friday, cited Trump’s “repeated public statements” as a key factor in requiring anonymity for the jury.
The trial is scheduled for January in Manhattan, and the jury will be transported by the US Marshals Service to protect their identities. Judge Kaplan’s order expressed concerns about the potential impact of Trump’s public comments on the plaintiff, the court, and other cases against him, as well as the extensive media coverage of the lawsuit.
No immediate response has been received from Trump’s legal team regarding this decision.
In a similar case in May, another anonymous jury awarded $5 million in damages to columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexually abusing her in 1996. The jury also found that Trump had defamed Carroll with comments made in the fall of 2022, which undermined her claims. However, the jury rejected Carroll’s claim of rape. Judge Kaplan presided over that trial as well.