Former President Donald Trump will file a cash deposit of more than $5.5 million as he appeals a verdict in favor of E. Jean Carroll for sexual abuse and defamation.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan quickly approved the request by Trump attorney Joe Tacopina, who asked the court to allow his client to file $5,550,000, representing 111% of the judgment.
Tacopina called this “consistent with the traditional security percentage of replacement bonds.”
Former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner said posting bond like this is “standard operating procedure” on such an appeal.
“Bail allows the defendant to stay the execution of the judgment for the duration of the appeal,” said Epner, who is now a partner at the law firm Rottenberg Lipman Rich PC. “The money is put together in a form where the claimant is guaranteed to collect if she wins the appeal. Absent Trump posting bond or filing the full judgment (plus interest) in court, Carroll could get his judgment back 30 days from when it was seized. If she recovered and Trump won on appeal, he would have to sue her for the money.
Epner found it unusual, however, for a wealthy civil litigant like Trump to ask for a cash deposit rather than a traditional bond.
“In my 25-plus years as a lawyer, I’ve never seen a caller who had money who couldn’t get replacement bail,” he told Law&Crime.
Tacopina did not immediately respond to a text message asking why Trump opted for this alternative.
The lawyer for E. Jean Carroll, Roberta Kaplan, who agreed, also did not immediately respond to a press inquiry.
“If the judgment is set aside and completely set aside, the monies originally deposited with the court by the defendant, together with any interest earned on those funds less costs, will be paid to the defendant,” their stipulation reads. “The collection by the defendant of funds held by the Court may be accomplished by petition or by stipulation and order, with notice served on the clerk of this Court.”
In early May, a federal jury in New York quickly discovered that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman’s dressing room in the mid-1990s – then defamed her when she told her story decades later. The deliberations lasted less than three hours.
Other possible responsibilities for Trump remain, regardless of the outcome of the appeal. Carroll has an ongoing defamation case over comments Trump made as president that she was not his “type.” That lawsuit has stalled amid questions about Trump’s immunity for statements he made while in office. The Justice Department has previously maintained that it did, and the matter was debated at length, but never resolved. Carroll later amended that complaint to seek $10 million — and added Trump’s statements during his CNN town hall to his action.
A trial in this remaining case is scheduled for January 15, 2024, unless resolved or dismissed before then.
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