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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Now: Jury Deliberating In Trump Defamation Trial; Top United Nations Court Orders Israel To Prevent Genocide; Growing Number Of Videos Show Gazans With White Flags Being Shot; Jury Reaches Decision In Trump Defamation Trial; Jury Says Trump Must Pay $83.3M In Damages To E. Jean Carroll. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired January 26, 2024 - 16:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Yeah, last August, Alex Chepeska got a tattoo with the Lions logo and a Lombardi trophy that reads Super Bowl champs 2024. He says he had no regrets. He was inspired by the team's unexpected success last season.

In the appearance on the HBO show "Hard Knocks", Chepeska says there are a few people who think it is a jinx, like Brianna and I, what are you doing, Alex?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Don't jinx it! Man!

SANCHEZ: Yeah, this is -- when you do that, you're putting yourself out there.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


TAPPER: At any moment, we're expecting a big court decision that could cost Donald Trump tens of millions of dollars.

THE LEAD starts right now.

A jury deliberating after a dramatic day in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case. Donald Trump stormed out of the courtroom, the judge threatened to lock up Trump's attorney. And now, jurors will decide how much the former president must pay for defaming the woman he had already been found liable of sexually abusing and defaming. We're going to talk to the CNN correspondent in the courtroom.

Plus, showdown. Texas defies a U.S. Supreme Court ruling keeping razor wire and its national guard at the border. I'm going to talk with one of the 25 Republican governors siding with the Lone Star state over the rule of law.

And one of the most stunning acts of violence we've heard of from Gaza. Palestinians shot dead despite waiving white flag of surrender. A CNN investigation coming now about that, and how often it's happening.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to start in our law and justice lead today, in a day of antics inside the Manhattan courthouse. This comes as the defamation damages trial against Donald Trump is now in the hands of the jury. Seven men, two women tasked with deciding how much Donald Trump should have to pay E. Jean Carroll for denying when he was president that he sexually assaulted her and then lambasting her character.

A jury in another trial already found him liable for sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll and ordered him to pay $5 million for defaming her in 2022. Today, moments before closing arguments began, the judge admonished Trump's attorney for interrupting, threatening her, quote, you are on the verge of spending some time in the lockup, now sit down, unquote. Then just minutes after Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, began her closing arguments, Donald Trump stormed out of the courtroom. The judge instructing the court record to reflect that Trump had walked out.

Kaplan and her statement tried to persuade the jury to hit Trump where it hurts, his wallet, saying Donald Trump is a wealthy man and the only way to get him to stop telling lies is to force him to pay unusually high punitive damages. Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, fired back, arguing that Carroll only brought this case to get back her lavish lifestyle.

Donald Trump himself set the tone for this dramatic day in court with a fiery statement in the middle of the night posted on Truth Social


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I have no idea who she is, where she came from. This is another scam. It's a political witch hunt. And somehow we're going to fight this up. The whole thing is a scam and it's a shame. And it's a disgrace to our country.


TAPPER: Let's start with Kara Scannell, who's outside the Manhattan courthouse on verdict watch.

Kara, how soon could we see a verdict do you think?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the judge told the jury they can deliberate until 4:30 today is were just about a half an hour away from that mark. They have been behind the scenes working on this since about 1:40. So just over two hours, 20 minutes of deliberations. Now, we did was to just see Donald Trumps motorcade leave the courthouse. So he has left the building while the jury is still deliberating.

So if a verdict is returned today, he is not going to be here to hear it. But this is as we are waiting for the jury, you know, it comes as you said, in a drama-filled day inside this courtroom, where the former president and E. Jean Carroll's lawyers gave their best shot to the jury with Carroll's attorneys saying that Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. The only way to hold him accountable is through his pocketbook.

They're asking for a big fine, more than $24 million in compensatory and emotional damage images and a very significant amount in punitive damages, saying that when the president speaks, the world listens, the hate mail, the threats that Carroll receives were parroting Donald Trump's words, trying to hold him accountable.

They also told the jury that E. Jean Carroll is the victim in this case, not Donald Trump, as his lawyers would like them to believe. And Trump's attorney Alina Habba, also giving her best argument saying that E. Jean Carroll knew she would invite some backlash by going public with these accusations and that Donald Trump can't be held responsible for Twitter trolls and hate mail that Carroll may have received, saying that he did not condone that behavior and they don't know who those people are, so trying to distance him from this.


But this is a question for the jury and, you know, they're not having to find questions about sexual assault or defamation. Another jury already determined that this is just about how much money they'll have to pay and they've been working now for over two hours to see if they can reach that answer today, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

With us now is former Trump attorney Jim Trusty.

Jim, good to see. So you just heard me mentioned while E. Jean Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan was delivering her closing arguments, Trump stood up and walk down to the courtroom. It was described by onlookers as storming out of the courtroom.

Do you think behavior like that impacts the jury?

JIM TRUSTY, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Yeah. I kind of doubt it for a damages trial. You know, if this is a liability trial, every one of those moments has some -- some import, but we're talking about, you know, a post-liability finding by a prior jury. There has been a lot of circus-like atmosphere to it. A judge threatening Ms. Habba, Ms. Habba not standing up when she should -- you know, all sorts of stuff, that I think actually hurts the whole system of jurisprudence in a sense.

But I don't think that moment of walking out will have any real impact on the jury for again, just for a damages trial.

TAPPER: Now, Trump's attorney in this case, Alina Habba, you mentioned her a second ago. She told the jury in her closing statement that Donald Trump should not be held because, quote, you have a constitutional right to speak. The judge said, you have a constitutional right to some kinds of speech and not others.

What do you think of that? TRUSTY: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of opening up a door that's not

particularly helpful, right? Because obviously, there are some established exceptions to free speech. You know, I get the point of where she was going. I'm not sure it didn't invite a very activist judge to make some comments at her expense.

So, you know, that's -- again it's easy for all of us as lawyers or as journalists to kind of sit back and poach at the conduct of the attorneys in the court. All I'm saying is without really judging anybody too harshly, all of them are participating in a trial that doesn't really look good. If he came down from some foreign planet or foreign country to watch an American trial, you'd say, where are the rules in this thing? Everybody shouting at each other, lawyers are getting threatened with getting locked up. It's not really a shining moment for our system.

TAPPER: E. Jean Carroll's attorney told the jury today to consider that Trump is a very wealthy man and the only way to potentially deter him from continuing his attacks. And you just heard us play one that he posted on Truth Social in the middle of the night is to make him pay an unusually high punitive damage penalty.

You were on Donald Trump's legal team. You know him. Would that, let's say, he was given a forced to pay $80 million as punitive damages. I'm just making that up, but that takes -- it takes a bite. Would that deter him?

TRUSTY: Oh, look, I don't want to get into kind of personally vouching either way on it. Here's what I would say. You know, this -- juries get very little instruction when it really gets down to it very little instruction on what to do when it comes to calculating damages.

I was actually on a jury many moons ago where we had no idea how to come up with a number for a compensatory and for punitive damages. And that's really magnified here. It's kind of, you know, trial by Ouija board. They figure out what they want to do and they do it.

I think the wrong thing to pay attention to is how much is compensatory and how much is punitive. If they have a very high punitive amount, that's basically saying they're not thrilled with the conduct of President Trump, that they're not thrilled with his outburst in court perhaps. But if they -- if they go real lean on the compensatory, then that would also tell you something about their view of E. Jean Carroll.

But again, this is a wide-open world. When you get to damages for a jury in New York, there's really no way to predict what they're going to do.

TAPPER: For I think most clients probably if you said, hey stop insulting this woman, stop defaming this woman, even if you think you were innocent or even if you think it was unfair every time you open your mouth its going to cost you money, most people would probably take that advice, but I personally find it tough to believe that any amount would dissuade him from continuing to attack her.

What do you think?

TRUSTY: Well, yeah. Look, I think a lot of the attacks probably reflect frustration at the liability verdict. It's kind of like the time to fight over that may have come and gone because now there's at least some risk that between the judge and the jury, they take offense at these protests of innocence, which are combined with disparaging Ms. Carroll.

But at the same time, this is -- you know, I've had a lot of white- collar clients that are kind of c-suite guys that are very successful with their lives. And they get real frustrated at being subjected to a system that they don't have a whole lot of control over. And if they feel like they're being treated unfairly. So he's not the only client for anybody who is going to, you know, perhaps ignore instructions to lay low during the critical times of the trial.

Hopefully, the jury is not taking it in because they're instructed not to, but that's the danger is that any of this gets back to a jury or they get inflamed by the judges instructions and the punitive climb up into the world you're talking about tens of millions.


TAPPER: We're still waiting on federal appeals court to rule on whether or not Donald Trump has a right to immunity in the actions he carried out relating to January 6. What do you watching for in that decision? And how could the decision affect the powers of the presidency?

TRUSTY: Yeah, well, that's a -- the second question is a real profound and good question, Jake. The bottom line is, you know, I wasn't in the courtroom. I was in the courthouse, but I heard from a couple of friends that have either listened to or watch the oral argument in front of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. It was a hot bench for President Trump's lawyer, did not sound particularly promising that he was going to win on the notion of blanket immunity for president while in office. You know, it's the artifact of the king can do no wrong.

But I do think when it gets to the Supreme Court, and I believe very firmly it'll get there, that the Supreme Court could carve out a much more nuanced approach that's more like qualified immunity or executive privilege, where they saved president is doing something within his core responsibilities as chief executive, we're going to protect them. We're going to immunize him.

So a phone call to a foreign dignitary that somebody doesn't like or thinks is an FCPA violation, a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation, we're going to immunize him there. But if he goes off the rails and commit some crime completely unrelated to his duties, then he has no immunity. I think that's a reasonable and kin of a long-term outcome that could make sense for the office, the institution of the presidency.

But we have to wait and see. You know, I think that's -- it's going to get to the Supreme Court. It's going to be a profound moment because we've never had this kind of circumstance.

TAPPER: Jim Trusty, good to see as always, sir. Thank you so much

TRUSTY: You too, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up, a CNN investigation looking into civilian deaths in Gaza, multiple videos obtained showing Palestinian shot dead, one, a grandmother with a five-year-old child, and those killed were waving white flags. The disturbing report from our very own Clarissa Ward, that's next.



TAPPER: Topping our world lead today, 12 aid workers in Gaza have been fired over their alleged involvement in the horrific October 7 terrorist attack on Israel. The United Nations Relief Works Agency in Gaza or UNWRA says it has launched an investigation as the U.S. State Department pauses additional funding for UNWRA, while they look into the allegations.

This is not the first time that the U.N. agency has been scrutinized. In December, the Israel Defense Forces said that it found dozens of missiles hidden under UNWRA equipment.

Meanwhile, in the most intensive effort and weeks, the top intelligence chiefs from the United States and Israel and Egypt, as well as Qatar's prime minister, are all meeting and putting their heads together this weekend to try to reach some sort of hostage deal. Whether they actually strike a deal remains to be seen, but outlines of possible agreements including a prolonged stop and fighting in return for the more than 100 remaining Israeli hostages are notably starting to take shape. We will keep you updated on that story.

Now to a binding and, quote, watershed ruling by the United Nations top court. The International Court of Justice said today that Israel must, quote, take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza, but stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Today's ruling was a first step, while the final ruling on the genocide case brought by South Africa, could theoretically take years. Still, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, completely dismissed today's preliminary findings. Take a listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The charge of genocide level against Israel is not only false, it's outrageous. And decent people everywhere should reject it.


TAPPER: Meanwhile, as the conditions in Gaza worsen by the day, as Israel continues its fight against Hamas. CNN's Clarissa Ward investigates why a Palestinian grandmother

carrying a white flag was shot in Gaza. Just one of several instances where Palestinian civilians were killed while carrying the internationally recognized symbol four do not attack.

We do want to warn our viewers some images in this report will be difficult to watch.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the last moments of Hala Khreis' life. You can see her here leading a group of 30-odd people, they wave white flags, a plea for safe passage out of their neighborhood, now surrounded by Israeli forces. She holds the hand of her five-year-old grandson Taim tightly, and then suddenly -- little Taim quickly runs away.

Her son, Mohammed, rushes towards her. If you slow the video down, you can see Hala start to turn just before she is shot, as if f she had caught sight of something.

From the angle of her fall and the movement of the fleeing group, it is clear that the bullet came from the west or the south.

CNN has geo-located the intersection. Mohammed told us, when he reached his mother, he looked up and saw two Israeli tanks ahead of him to the south, and just 200 meters to the West, we know Israeli troops were stationed at the new Gaza prep school for boys. As captured here in satellite images and a photograph published on November 12th, the day Hala was killed.

SARAH KHREIS, DAUGHTER (through translator): It's really hard for me to look at the pictures, but I try to remember the beautiful gatherings that we used to share together.

WARD: Hala's 18-year-old daughter, Sarah, was further back in the group. Now safely in Istanbul, she tells us the family had agonized over whether to leave their home, but after two nights of the most intense bombardment yet, decided to move.

KHREIS: I remember that my mom, after we all sat down and discussed, she got up and went to the kitchen to make breakfast for everyone in the house. When she was making breakfast, she also went to pray a Duha prayer.


It's really hard, really hard.

WARD: Take your time.

KHREIS: My mother was my whole life. She was my friend and my everything.

WARD: She wants Halas to be remembered as she was in life, a devoted grandmother who still made Sarah sandwiches to take to university for lunch, a retired Arabic literature teacher, beloved by her students and family. The month before October 7 had been the happiest of times for the family, celebrating Sarah's engagement and Mohammed's graduation from university.

KHREIS: My mother was going to be 58 years old on December 30, and had her grandson with her, so why would you shoot her? What's between you and her? You made us feel like it's safe to leave. We had white flags on our hands. So, what happened? Nobody knows. Nobody knows.

WARD: It is a question many are asking as more videos have emerged of unarmed civilians displaying white flags apparently shot dead.

The Geneva based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor tells CNN they are investigating nine such incidents. We analyzed four. The most widely reported is the shooting of the three Israeli hostages with the IDF admitted killing under the mistaken impression that their surrender was a trap.

The most recent incident just this week in Mawasi, in southern Gaza, 51- year-old Ramzi Abu Sahul (ph) says he is trying to get back to the house where his brother is being held by Israeli forces to plead for his release. The camera zooms in on two Israeli tanks beyond a berm. A drone can be heard overhead.

Ramzi and four other family members move tentatively forward, hands in the air, white flag held high, then suddenly a burst of gunfire, Ramzi falls to the ground. If you slow down the video, you can see the impact the first round against the wall, clearly fired from the direction of the tanks. The men hastily drag Ramsey's body away, the white flag now soaked in blood. His wife runs after him, but he is already dead.

Another video obtained by CNN was recorded by journalist Rami Abu Jamous, on November 10th. He says the IDF ordered his family to evacuate their home and to carry white flags. As they walk, gunshots can be heard. On the other side of the street, a man is wailing over the body of his dead son.

I told you, let's stay home my son, he says over and over, still clutching his white flag. If only we had stayed home. Around the corner, two more people shot, also carrying white flags. CNN cannot say who fired the shots. We sent the coordinates of all the incidents to the IDF and repeatedly asked for comments.

Hala Khreis was buried in a shallow grave in a small alleyway next to the family home. Her gravestone written in chalk. Her family hopes there will be justice for her killing and a proper burial when this war is finally over.


WARD (on camera): And, Jake, we flew to Israel to try to sit down with the IDF to present our footage and our findings and go through this with them and try to get some clarity or explanation. Ultimately, the IDF declined to meet with us, but they did in the hours after for this report first was published online issue a responsive statement. This is it. CNN refused to provide the footage in question prior to

the broadcasting of the article as the IDF requested to receive an order to thoroughly examine the incident and provide any sort of comprehensive response. CNN's hesitancy to share the materials closes the partial nature of their report, doing a disservice to the complex nature of the operational reality on the ground. The incident is being examined.


Jake, they don't say in that statement which of the several incidents that we investigate in this report is in fact being examined. And just to reiterate, we did try many times. We offer many times to come to show them all the footage. Those offers were declined, Jake.

TAPPER: Clarissa, back to the International Court of J preliminary ruling today saying Israel must prevent genocidal acts, they haven't come up with their ruling yet officially about whether or not Israel is committing genocide, but they did, they did say this. The decision is supposed to be legally binding.

How would it be enforced?

WARD: Well, this is the whole issue, Jake, this is really much more important and significant on a symbolic level than it is in terms of how it will well take effect on the ground. This is binding but not enforceable. You heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response earlier, you know, he has scoffed at the implications that Israel may have somehow violated the genocide convention. And he also said in his words, we will continue to allow humanitarian aid in. We will continue to do everything we can to protect civilians on the ground.

But what you've seen from our report and what we've seen more broadly from the very clear circumstances on the ground in Gaza is that there are serious question marks about how sincere those intentions are and whether if they are sincere, they are being executed at all, because as we see from these shootings, as we see from people starving, as we see from 90 percent of people displaced, from 26,000 people killed, the reality on the ground that spells a very different story than the rhetoric than we've heard from the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Clarissa Ward in Jerusalem, thank you so much for that report.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you. Now we understand there is a major development in the E. Jean Carroll jury deliberations.

Let's go to CNN's Kara Scannell, who is outside court in Manhattan.

Kara, what's the latest?

SCANNELL: So, Jake, we're learning from a court official that a verdict has been reached in this case. This is just 56 minutes before for the end of the day when the jury was supposed to go home, if they did not reach a verdict. And we heard that from one court official.

We're watching and we've seen Carroll's team has entered the courtroom. Trump's team has not yet entered the courtroom. And as we know, Trump has already left the courthouse. His motorcade left about a half an hour go.

We're still waiting for additional gentle information on this. You know, as I said, Trump's lawyers aren't in the room. This usually takes a few moments to assemble everyone, bring them in the room, then bring the jury out, and then the judge will ask the foreperson of the jury to hand up the envelope with the verdict and then read it in this case.

And this verdict is, you know, as we've talked about, this is not about finding whether Trump heads sexually assaulted Carroll or defamed her. Another jury already did that. The question here is damages. How much money Trump would have to pay Carroll in this case, both emotional, compensatory damages, damages to repair her reputation and potential punitive damages.

Now, Carroll's team asked the jury today to return at least 24 million to her. We're waiting to see exactly what they will come down to. So, you know, were waiting again for everyone to assemble into the room. They're saying now that the verdict, according to my colleague we learned the value will be read at 4:35.

So, just a short time from now. We will read the verdict in the courtroom, and then we'll know exactly what the jury found and how much money Donald Trump will have to pay. E. Jean Carroll -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, that's the latest news, obviously, as you just said, 4:35. We will hear the verdict read. A verdict has been reached in terms of monetary damages being awarded to E. Jean Carroll for defamation by Donald Trump back when he was president in 2019.

Let's go to CNN's Kristen Holmes, who covers Trumps 2024 presidential campaign while we wait for that verdict.

And, Kristen, what are the stakes here for Donald Trump beyond the financial stakes because it is likely that he will have to pay a significant amount of money.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Jake, all of these cases have had the same level of what Donald Trump is looking at, which is how is this going to impact him and his political career? And, obviously, in a civil case, he's paying damages. It's not the same as a criminal case in some way he is facing there.

But he has become very invested in this case. He has become almost fixated on the fact that he continues to say privately that he needed to defend himself. So, we're likely to see a Trump who is going to be very angry once this verdict is read. Obviously, we do not know the amount in damages, but if he is to pay damages to E. Jean Carroll, we can expect a very angry Donald Trump.

Now, as we know, he has used all of these cases. It really is part of his campaign process. He did not have to be in court.

However, I was told that particularly with E. Jean Carroll, he has become more and more fixated with this idea of having to defend himself. That's why you saw him testify. Lawyers obviously had prepped him. He could not speak for a lengthy amount of time and he obviously did not go off message, something that we see usually from Donald Trump.

The other person who was invested in this case, I was told, was his wife, Melania Trump, who said that he needed to go out and defend his family's name. Interestingly, we heard Donald Trumps say he felt like he needed to defend his name, his family's name, so similar messaging there.

Now, Donald Trump has a campaign event tomorrow in Nevada. We know they're going to head there tonight. Likely when this verdict is read, they will already be at the airport leaving to go to his next campaign event, which is how he is really balanced all of this. But I think that we can expect Donald Trump to be very angry once this comes down.

And I know we talk about this about his money, and him having to pay damages for something that he believes is unfair or paints as unfair or was painting himself as the victim, as always been part of his strategy, that is going to be something that angers him deeply.

TAPPER: All right. Kristen Holmes, stand by.

Let's go back to Kara Scannell for the latest outside the courthouse there in Manhattan -- Kara.

SCANNELL: So, Jake, we understand that Carroll's lawyers and Trumps attorneys are all assembling in the courtroom, ready to hear the verdict that will be read just five minutes from now.

You know, the process here, what will happen is once the attorneys are all in, they will bring the jury into the courtroom. The foreperson will have an envelope, will hand it up, and then the judge it will receive it and read the verdicts.

So, we expect that to unfold and just over the next few minutes. You know, that means that this jury has deliberated for just under three hours. The question for them, how much money Donald Trump should pay E. Jean Carroll for damages. Her lawyers are asking for at least $24 million in compensatory damages and they want, they said, a substantial amount of money for punitive damages.

So, that's the amount of money they're asking to punish Donald Trump for repeating the statements that another jury has already found to be a defamatory, repeating them just 24 hours after the verdict at the CNN town hall. That was the centerpiece of their closing arguments today. And that was the moment that Donald Trump stood up and left the courtroom.

Now, he did eventually returned to hear his lawyers closing arguments and the rest of the proceedings, but he left the courthouse just around 4:00. His motorcade we saw it departing where he's out of the building. So when this verdict is read, moments from now, he will not be in the courtroom. The jury will not see him when they delivered this verdict. And he has been in this courtroom for most of this trial.

So really significant moment in this case that he has spent so much time through, but he is not actually going to be in the courtroom when this verdict is read. So we won't see an initial reaction from him. We may hear from his lawyers afterwards and we may even hear from Carroll afterwards that she has already received an award from the previous jury of $5 million, but now, they're asking for a significantly more money they say Donald Trump will not stop making these defamatory statements. He's made them repeatedly during this trial and they said, even on the witness stand when he was on it briefly yesterday.

TAPPER: All right. Kara Scannell, thanks. We're going to come right back to you.

I want to bring in CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig.

Elie, correct me if I'm wrong, okay? You're the lawyer, not me, but my understanding is that were going to hear three numbers. One of them, the compensatory there's -- compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Compensatory has two parts, emotional and reputational. E. Jean Carroll's attorney asked for $24 million for all of that combined compensatory and then punitive damages. Carroll's attorney asked for a huge sum to send the message to Donald Trump. You have to stop defaming this woman.

Did I get that right?



HONIG: So it's all about the numbers here. And when we get the numbers back to sort of break this down, the compensatory damages means how much does E. Jean Carroll need to be paid back essentially to be made whole for her losses, her economic losses, her emotional suffering, her reputational damage.

Separately from that, and this is where the capsule sort of comes off, where the number could be anything from zero up to many millions of dollars is punitive damages. And as the name suggests, punitive damages are intended to punish, to deter, to send a message to somebody who's done wrong.

And to me, I'm really looking at that one because what matters here to Donald Trump, of course, is the amount of money he doesn't like to part with money. Nobody does.

But the punitive damages is where we really look and see is there a message sent? Is this jury saying we reject your conduct? We find it reprehensible. What perhaps not. And so those are going to be the different categories that come out of that courtroom.

TAPPER: What else are you going to be watching for when the jury verdict comes down beyond those numbers?

HONIG: So, first of all, if I'm the plaintiff, the fact that there is a verdict is something that I'm happy about because the thing you fear if you're a plaintiff in a case like this is a hung jury where you have a split among the jurors, where they're hopelessly stuck, where maybe you well have a holdout juror, maybe you have a juror who insists on zero damages.

The fact that they have a verdict I think is a good sign for the plaintiff, generally speaking, the fact that as Kara noted, they've reached this verdict in a fairly low amount of time, about 2, 3 hours, which is actually the same amount of time that the jury deliberated back in the first trial. I think is an encouraging sign.

I'm looking to see the numbers and how they break down and really beyond the numbers, what's the message that the jury sent here. As you noted, Donald Trump's not in the courtroom, so we wont get to see an actual visual reaction from him. The jury won't get to see it, to see that, but well see what the parties say afterwards.

TAPPER: The jury reached the decision, as you know, with less than three hours of deliberations. What is there to read in that other than it wasn't that difficult for them

HONIG: Yeah. That's about what I would expect as an amount of time I did boldly predict on air yesterday that we would get a verdict today. There is a known phenomenon in the courthouse known as the Friday verdict. It's human nature. Juries like to get their jobs done. They don't want to come back after the weekend.

So we used to joke about this and this very same courthouse. We'd say, well, it's Friday, so we're going to get a verdict. But it does tell me the fact that they did this in three hours.

First of all, they didn't just sort of steamroll this and come to a decision in 15 minutes. They thought about it three hours is a good amount of time. But also there wasn't wild dissent on -- within the jury and they were able to come to an agreement on a fairly complicated set of calculations.

TAPPER: Carroll's attorneys asked the jury to award, quote, unusually high punitive damages what might that be, unusually high? I mean, he was out, he was ordered to pay $5 million in the previous trial for comments he made post-presidency. This is a different trial involving comments he made as president in 2019. What -- I mean, the man claims to be a billionaire. He's at the very least worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

What would dissuade him from continuing to defame this woman?

HONIG: So that's exactly the question. And I think what E. Jean Carroll's lawyers asked the jury to do is to send a message and, Jake, you're right. This trial that were about to get a verdict on relates to statements that Donald Trump made in 2019 while he was president, but important to remember the statements that Donald Trump's been making over the last several months, weeks days, all of that went into a jury or much of that went to the jury as well.

And so when the jury's thinking about do we accept this, do we believe that he's in any way remorseful or we offended? Do we find his conduct egregious? They're able to take that into account. Everything from what Donald Trump said about E. Jean Carroll at our CNN town hall, to the comments he's been putting out on social media over the last several days. All of that is in play in this case and all of that can factor into the punitive damages decision.

TAPPER: Let's go to Kara Scannell right now.

Thanks so much, Elie.

Kara, what's going on right now inside the building?

SCANNELL: So, Jake, the judge, has just got on the bench and just set in the courtroom. I'm advised that the jury has reached a verdict. We will have no outburst and maintain entire decorum during these proceedings. Now, the jury is entering the courtroom. There's -- this is a jury of seven men and two women who've been hearing this trial. They are entering the courtroom.

Once they are seated, OK, there were just beginning -- they're just beginning this process now. This -- the foreperson would give the judge the envelope. It looks like that part of this is starting to get underway and we may get the actual dollar amounts shortly -- Jake.

TAPPER: Okay. Kara Scannell, you're getting emails from inside -- individuals inside the courtroom, and as soon as because you have anything to tell us, we'll come right back to you.

Kristen Holmes, the Trump team is inside the courtroom. One would imagine, although Donald Trump is not?

HOLMES: I mean, I haven't spoken to the lawyers yet. I know his entire campaign team is with him. They were heading to the airport, they were leaving -- he has a political event in Nevada, I am trying to reach out to make sure this hasn't changed any of their plans, having it happen, so -- so closely to his departure.

Just a reminder that no matter what happens today with whatever the verdict is, he is going to say over and over again that this is some kind of election interference, that he never met her, that this was done at the hands to try and stop him from running for office. We've heard these arguments time and time again. His own lawyer was talking about how E. Jean Carroll was funded by Democrats, something that she was admonished by the judge for saying.

This has been their standard practice and something that he has done repeatedly and he has continued to post about her even after he is in a trial for defamation. He -- it's almost as though he can't help himself. He feels very fixated on it, which is part of why you saw him take the stand.

Part of his defense and what his lawyer said was that he felt like he was defending himself. That is also something that he said to a lot of his allies that he needed to defend himself in this case and part of those also spin on the fact that he has continued to lash out at her on social media, despite the fact he has been warned not to.

And now we will find out if there are damages for some of what he has done. Sorry, I'm just -- I'm also looking at my phone to see where they are. And if this is changing any of their plans, but I'm not hearing back just yet.

They were told -- I was told by a source at LaGuardia that they were on their way and he was going to be there imminently. However, you still not arrived at the airport. So there's obviously been some speculation as to whether or not this changes any version of their plans.

But as we know, Donald Trump is going to be absolutely furious with this. He has clearly shown that and part of this, again, will play into, however he wants to message it, it will be messaged around his campaign in the politics of all this.

TAPPER: OK. Kristen, I'm going to interrupt you. I apologize. So what were starting to get the numbers from the courtroom. Let's go back to Kara Scannell.

Kara, what do you have for us so far in terms of the damages being awarded by this jury to E. Jean Carroll because of Donald Trump's defamation against her?

SCANNELL: And, Jake, this is a significant win for E. Jean Carroll. The jury awarding her just shy of $100 million in this verdict. I'm going to break it down for you.

They said that E. Jean Carroll was injured as a result of Trump's defamatory statements. And for emotional harm, they're awarding her $7.3 million. For reputational repair, they're awarding her $11 million. And for punitive damages, that is the part that punishes Donald Trump, they are awarding $65 million.

So my rough map there gets us over $80 million that the jury is awarding E. Jean Carroll. I mean, that is a significant win from her. Last year, the jury awarded her $5 million.

This is just exponentially more. This is something that is the jury is sending a message to Donald Trump, the argument that Carroll's team has made in which this jury seems to have completely agreed with is that the only way to stop Donald Trump from repeating these defamatory statements is to hit him in the pocketbook. And that is what done.

I mean, a significant victory for E. Jean Carroll, substantially more than she had asked for, you know, she was seeking millions of dollars. Now, they're returning this verdict of over $80 million -- Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, $83.3 million. Your math checks out, Kara Scannell. We'll come back to you when you have more to tell us.

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams. All right. So let's just get your reaction to these numbers. Let me --

let me remind folks what they are. The compensatory damages all told is $18.3 million. That checks out to be $7.3 million for emotional harm. They -- the court the jury, found that he did, in fact injure her and $11 million for reputational harm done to her and then -- so that's 18.3 million, which is less than Carroll's attorney asked for. She had asked for $24 million. Punitive damages, $65 million.

Explain, first of all, what 65 -- what punitive damages means and whether or not that's a high -- that's a high figure for this trial.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah. Well, it started the last question. It is a high figure that's a lot of money for anybody, including Donald Trump. Now when we talk about compensatory damages, you're paying someone back for something they've lost, and to your point, about the fact that this was less than E. Jean Carroll's folks had asked for, it's hard to put a dollar amount on someone's suffering.

But she did and they said, we think it's $24 million. They said here that it was $7.3 million. Now, this question of punitive damages, that how do you deter someone or others like him from engaging in the same conduct? And you put a dollar amount on it and slap him with a big amount of money.

The challenge here with someone who's a billionaire or at least 100 million, a multi --

TAPPER: Whatever he is, right. He's very rich.

WILLIAMS: Whatever in there he is, he's very rich. It's hard to put a dollar amount on his conduct that would actually deter him or anyone else. So they had to put a high dollar amount on.

TAPPER: Eighty-three million dollars. That is a lot. Not as much as Rudy Giuliani was ordered to pay those two election workers that he defamed, but still quite a chunk of change. Do you think that there is grounds for an appeal? Will Donald Trump be able to say -- and his lawyers like this is too high. I didn't get a fair trial, et cetera?

WILLIAMS: There are certainly grounds for an appeal. Everyone who makes it through the legal system, Jake, is entitled to challenge a verdict or a dollar amount that's put against them. The problem is it's substantiated. She -- they laid out during the trial what her injuries were, whether they were emotional reputation, or whatever else.


And punitive damages are hard to quantify, but it makes sense for an individual who's a billionaire or again, like I said --

TAPPER: Or whatever he is, he has a lot of money, $83.3 million. If you're just joining us, this was a second defamation trial. The first one you might -- you might remember, a jury found that Donald Trump did sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll at a Bergdorf Goodman's dressing room in the 1990s. They did find that previously and ordered him to pay $5 million for defaming her post-presidency. This trial was about defaming -- his defaming of her while he was president in 2019. And the jury he has just awarded E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million.

So Donald Trump is now pending an appeal ordered to pay her, I guess at $88.3 million if you add the $5 million that I assume he hasn't paid her yet.

Let's bring in CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.

Kaitlan, before this trial I am one of the lucky few that actually has Truth Social, Donald Trumps social media website that he founded back before Elon Musk took over Twitter and if you've just scroll through his feed, it is just its a direct tap into his brain, his id, and its just post after post after post attacking E. Jean Carroll, attacking the judge, attacking the case.

This is before the verdict. So how is he going to react now?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST, "THE SOURCE": Jake, I'm told by a person familiar that Trump just boarded his plane here in New York, he had actually left the courtroom before this verdict came down. He is not in the room -- was not in the room. His attorneys were, but he was not in the room, as this was being read.

And I will tell you I would not want to be on that plane with him right now as he is finding out that this jury has decided he owes E. Jean Carroll, in addition to the $5 million that you already mentioned, another $83 million in damages here, Jake, because one sore point for him throughout this entire trial that you could see play out in something that the judge was pushing back against a lot was the fact that he didn't show up to the initial trial, which he says he did on the advice of a previous attorney, one who's no longer on his team anymore. I should note and that was something they kept trying to bring up here.

And the judge was saying, were not deciding here if you if you sexually abused her. That is something that a jury already found you liable for. This is just about how much you owe. And obviously, there were questions of what they're not the tactics that they were using inside the courtroom. Were going to reduce what he would owe and what he would have to pay in the end.

The argument that E. Jean Carroll's attorney was making was that this is a really wealthy person in that way too kind of send a message to him is to choose really high damages, which of course the jury has delivered on here.

But, Jake, after covering Trump for as long as I have, what I think of when I look at that $83,000,000 number, is this is a man who does have a lot of money. He does not like to part ways with that money and he doesn't do so very easily.

So the idea that E. Jean Carroll, something that has gotten under his skin, ever since he was in office until his post-presidency throughout these many trials that he is going to owe her $83 is not going to go over well with him.

TAPPER: And how do you think that's going to manifest itself, Kaitlan. What is -- what is next? I mean, obviously, we're going to see a lot of Truth Social posts. I imagine that's an easy one to predict.

Is he -- I mean, he's running for president. Is he -- is he speaking anytime soon? Is he -- does he have any plan to interviews with any of the friendly outlets he tends to talk to? When are we going next going to hear from him on this?

COLLINS: Well, he has a campaign event. I mean, he's supposed to fly to Nevada tonight. I believe he is still only the campaign trails. We've seen him bouncing the courtroom and the campaign tromping in court today. He was still trying to speak up. He was mouthing words as his attorneys were speaking and talking about his denials here. And the crux of this, though, Jake is these are for comments he made in 2019. That's what these damages are coming from.

Obviously, as they played E. Jean Carroll's attorneys played in the courtroom as this trial was going on, the moment from the CNN town hall just back in May, where they were arguing that he defamed her again, where he continued to lash out and speak out against her.

And so, I think the question in the argument that Carroll's attorney was making during this was make sure the damages are high enough to essentially stop from what he's been doing. Does this $83 million number mean that to him? I don't know. I mean, it's -- I think it's hard for people to imagine. He'll stop talking about this and stop with the denials. But $83 million is a really high price tag.

TAPPER: It is indeed and her attorneys asked for an unusually high punitive damage award, and I think it's fair to say they got it from the jury.

Let me go back to Kara Scannell, who's outside the courthouse in Manhattan. And, Kara, what is the reaction from E. Jean Carroll?

SCANNELL: So, Jake, E. Jean Carroll was hugging her lead attorney, Roberta Kaplan, and her other top attorney, Shawn Crowley, inside the courtroom.


And then there was a group hug among the lawyers hugging the other ones on the team.

Now, we do -- we will see E. Jean Carroll leave behind me when they do exit the courtroom, and we'll also see Donald Trump's legal team exit as we've been discussing, he is already gone. So it wasn't here for this verdict. But we have enough our colleague inside that courtroom. We'll get some more color reaction of what was it actually like inside that courtroom.

But the judge had also, when he was excusing this juror, you know, this is an anonymous jury. They don't walk out the doors. They are driven to a drop-off and pickup point every day and then they go to their homes.

And the judge set that up specifically in this case, like he did the last one because of the concern for their safety. I mean, this whole case has been about defamation and attacks and threats on E. Jean Carroll, the judge its not taking any chances.

So when he excused the jury, he told them that they could speak publicly about it if they want it, but they cannot reveal the identities of any of the other jurors. He said that his advice to them was never discussed, that you were on this jury and don't talk about it at all. So he's advising them to stay quiet given the sensitivity of this, which was on display throughout this relatively short trial.

So we are waiting now for E. Jean Carroll's team to come out of the courtroom as well as Trump's team that should say -- that usually does take a little bit of a while. But we've got our eyes on the door. We've got cameras over there and we'll be waiting to see if she says anything after this big victory -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Let's go back to CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

Elie, your reaction to the verdict and where -- what happens next? Donald Trump -- no. No question Donald Trump is going to try to appeal.

HONIG: For sure. Jake, this is a massive number. This is far in excess of anything that I think anyone realistically expected. This is 18-plus times the amount of the verdict in the first trial. And E. Jean Carroll's lawyers specifically, explicitly asked this jury, we need you to send a message.

And that's what jury has done. Make no mistake about it. $60 plus million in punitive damages. That is a message. That's a message to a person who essentially the jury say, we don't think you can be deterred for anything less than this massive amount of money.

Now, yes, Donald Trump absolutely has the right to appeal both this verdict and the prior verdict. He will appeal them. I do think one potential complication is how do we reconcile these verdicts? Because the verdict and the first case which covered the actual sexual assault itself, plus defamation made after Donald Trump was president, that was for $5 million. And now, we have a verdict for only defamation that's many, many times that. So I think when Donald Trump goes up on appeal, he will say you can't reconcile these. The more serious conduct had a far lower verdict.

But I think the response that you'll hear from E. Jean Carroll's team is yes, but so much of the second verdict is punitive damages. It's intended to deter him and all of his bad conduct up to and through and during the trial is what played into that figure.

TAPPER: All right. Let's bring back former Trump attorney Jim Trusty.

Jim, you've been in a courtroom with Donald Trump. By now, I'm sure he has heard that this jury has awarded E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million of Donald Trump's money. How do you think he probably reacted?

JIM TRUSTY, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I mean, let me be Captain Obvious. He's probably real upset.

You know, look, the punitives that all of this is going to be subject to appeal. And so, nobody should expect that he's like literally writing a check on the plane, but he's been frustrated for a long time about this case. That's obviously a component of this lawsuit. And I expect it to continue. Yeah.

And by the way, Elie -- Elie stole my thunder about Friday verdicts. You know, there's just a phenomena that essentially a jury is kind of internally deciding, we're not coming back next week. And so, you see a lot of verdict Friday afternoon, it did suggest that this was going to be a pretty tidy sum.

I mean, the real broad notion here is that New York juries are not friendly to President Trump. I think that's pretty clear. Whether it's disproportionate to the point of some sort of successful appeal, I don't know because the cop -- the compensatory part is not through the roof, and the punitive, you know, I think as Elie might have said, you can always justify it by saying, you know, this is continued kind of willful conduct that justifies some sort of penalties.

So it's a -- it's a marathon, not a sprint. You know, there's still a long way to go before there's an actual conclusion to the case. There may be much better settlement discussions since from the plaintiffs side than there was before. But I'm sure its very frustrating day for the former president.

TAPPER: Yeah, for those watching right now, you can see E. Jean Carroll inside the courthouse and it looked like she was about to step outside the courthouse and we will bring that footage to you live.

Oh, here she comes with her attorney, her legal team.


Let's listen in.



TAPPER: All right. E. Jean Carroll, we were waiting to see if she was going to say anything that is quite a media scrum outside the courthouse trying to get her to say anything, but we could not hear her say anything. Her attorneys were beaming.

Elliott, they get about a third of -- they've got about a third of it, right?

WILLIAMS: You'd get about a third.

TAPPER: Yeah, so no wonder they're -- no wonder they're smiley. And that's what's going on, a very good day in court for E. Jean Carroll, who is now theoretically at $83.3 million wealthier.

Kara Scannell, you're outside the courthouse. Did you -- did you -- did they say anything that we couldn't hear?

SCANNELL: You know, Jake, I couldn't hear them say anything over the crowd of questions being thrown at them. But as you said, they were -- they were beaming, certainly very big smiles on their faces. They got into their car leaving court today, which it's been a multiyear experience for E. Jean Carroll.

One of my colleagues, Jeff Winter, who is inside the courtroom, said that when the verdict was read -- that -- well, right before the verdict was read Alina Habba, Trump's attorney, hugged one of E. Jean Carroll's lawyers, kind of acknowledging that this was the moment that this was over. And then the foreperson had handed up the letter to the clerk of the court, who then asked her what an M stood for on it and she said millions.

So at that point, people in the room knew to that this was going to be likely a significant amount of money. And then as the verdict was read, E. Jean Carroll was seated between her two main attorneys, Roberta Kaplan and Shawn Crowley. She was holding their hands.

And then after the verdict was read, that they all three them had a group embrace and that's very reminiscent of last years trial. That was the same situation. There are close team. They were holding hands throughout the entire verdict reading and reliving that again today.

But in substantially bigger return for them, this jury award certainly much more than they had asked for -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. I want to bring back CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

And before Kaitlan reads the statement from Donald Trump, that he just posted on Truth Social, let us introduced to our audience the concept of truth sandwich, which is when we know something of a false, is about to be said, we will tell you the truth, then we'll give you the statement from the politician who's lying, and then we will remind you of the truth again.

So before where throw it to Kaitlan, let me remind people. There is absolutely no evidence that President Joe Biden had anything to do with this E. Jean Carroll case? None whatsoever. Period.

In addition, while the First Amendment does afford many legal protections when it comes to the right of free speech in this country, it is not a law, it is not -- it is not an amendment to the Constitution that allows one to say anything they want at any moment that they want. And that is why in fact libel law and defamation law exists.

So keeping that in mind, Kaitlan Collins, you just got reaction from Donald Trump and his team.

COLLINS: Yeah, Jake, and obviously, I mean, President Biden has nothing to do this. All of this proceeded when President Biden even took office, that that all of this happened. I mean, the origin story of this is George Conway talking about it when he met E. Jean Carroll at a party, something that was brought up during this, and said that she could --

TAPPER: The origin story is in the 1990s when Donald Trump and E. Jean Carroll saw each other at a at a Bergdorf Goodman, at least according to the jury.

COLLINS: Right. Which we know that was already a settled matter, but yeah, this all proceeded President Biden being an office.

But I should note, Trump is sitting on his plane right now in Manhattan. He left the courtroom before the jury had actually reached the verdict before we found out that they had reached the verdict.

And so, he was on his plane as the verdict was read, that the jury has now awarded E. Jean Carroll over $83 million in damages here. He is just responding for the first time on Truth Social, calling the number absolutely ridiculous and saying he fully disagrees with both verdicts.