In a shocking turn of events, former President Donald Trump walked out of the courtroom during his New York E. Jean Carroll defamation trial. While some may see this as a dramatic exit, conservative legal expert Harry Litman believes it could lead to astronomical punitive damages against Trump. Litman argues that Trump’s departure from the courtroom displays contempt for the process and demonstrates his belief that the rules don’t apply to him. With such behavior, Litman suggests that the jury may be inclined to impose punitive damages of epic proportions.
Litman’s assessment of the situation is not without merit. It is indeed rare for a defendant to storm out of a courtroom, especially during a closing argument. Trump’s actions seem calculated to prove the very point that Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, was making about Trump’s disregard for the rules. By disrespecting the process and the jury in this way, Trump seemingly invites the imposition of exorbitant punitive damages. It’s as if he’s daring the jury to punish him with financial consequences beyond imagination.
CNN legal analyst says Trump’s courtroom exit ‘begs the jury’ to levy ‘stratospheric’ damages in E. Jean Carroll trial https://t.co/ZYCPvfqUHX
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 26, 2024
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan (no relation to Carroll’s lawyer) made it a point to draw attention to Trump’s sudden exit during the attorney’s closing arguments. This further emphasizes the abnormality of Trump’s behavior. Kaplan, not mincing words, suggested that Trump’s actions showed a belief that his wealth and power would shield him from any consequences. It’s a testament to Trump’s inflated ego and disregard for the norms of the legal system.
Litman also highlights Trump’s consistent “incorrigibility” and “nastiness” as factors that could contribute to the jury’s decision on punitive damages. Trump’s own testimony about his immense wealth may also play a role in assessing the severity of potential financial penalties. Litman, with a touch of sarcasm, quips that even the highest calculator might not be sufficient to calculate the punitive damages that the jury might be contemplating.
In light of these developments, it appears that the trial has taken an unexpected turn. Trump’s brash exit and dismissive attitude towards the legal proceedings may have unintended consequences for him. If the jury decides to make an example out of Trump with astronomical punitive damages, it would serve as a cautionary tale for those who believe they are above the law, even long after leaving the presidency.
Conservative critics of the trial may see this as another example of the left’s relentless pursuit of Trump, even after he has left office. They argue that the case is politically motivated and that it is an attempt to silence a prominent conservative voice. They believe that the focus should be on more pressing issues facing the nation rather than engaging in a prolonged legal battle against a former president.
Only time will tell how the jury will interpret and respond to Trump’s courtroom exit and his overall approach to the trial. The impact of any potential punitive damages will undoubtedly be closely watched by both critics and supporters of the former president.