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Carroll trial paused over Donald Trump attorney´s Covid-19 exposure

Washington, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) E. Jean Carroll’s defamation trial against former President Trump was postponed Monday after a juror and one of Trump’s lawyers reported feeling ill.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees the trial, announced in the courtroom he would postpone the trial for at least one day.

“We will take the day off,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan said one of the jurors reported feeling ill on his way into court, and he was sent home and instructed to take a Covid-19 test.

Alina Habba, one of Trump’s attorneys, said she also was feeling ill Monday and recently was exposed to Covid-19 at a dinner with her parents.

The judge said Habba and fellow Trump attorney Michael Madaio took Covid-19 tests earlier in the morning and were negative.

Trump was briefly in the courtroom with Habba on Monday. Neither wore masks.

Carroll is seeking more than $10 million in defamation damages over Trump denying he sexually assaulted the longtime advice columnist in the 1990s. Trump has already been found liable and the jury will only decide damages.

Habba indicated that Trump was prepared to testify on Monday. But she noted to the judge that, if the trial does resume on Tuesday, Trump wants to be in New Hampshire for the state’s primary.

Habba suggested Trump testify after the primary on Wednesday. Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, stressed a desire to move ahead.

“If juror #3 is sick tomorrow, we should proceed,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan expressed confidence in the court’s ability to handle the issue, noting they had held trials during pandemic lockdowns.

“We have gotten through all of that, we will get through all of this, too,” Kaplan said.

Just after the trial adjourned, Trump took to Truth Social in a spree of posts disparaging Carroll, while also dismissing the trial as a “Witch Hunt.”