Judge denies motion to intervene from Trump supporter in original Carroll defamation lawsuit

June 4, 2023
Ben Marquis

In May, a New York jury sided with columnist E. Jean Carroll in a lawsuit alleging defamation by former President Donald Trump, even as the jury rejected as false Carroll's underlying claim that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

That prompted a supporter of Trump with a history of filing frivolous lawsuits to file a motion to intervene in a separate but similar defamation suit from Carroll against Trump, but the judge presiding over the case dismissed the filing within 24 hours, Raw Story reported.

The Trump supporter, James H. Brady, sought to intervene in the initial defamation lawsuit Carroll filed against Trump in 2019, dubbed Carroll I, following the jury's seemingly contradictory decision in the columnist's second defamation lawsuit against the former president, known as Carroll II.

Seeking permission to intervene

In his 18-page motion to intervene in Carroll I, Brady highlighted the contradictory duality of the jury's decision in Carroll II in that the jury rejected Carroll's claim that Trump raped her but nonetheless found Trump guilty of defaming her in his fervent denials of the allegation and counter-accusation that Carroll was lying about the rape incident.

He argued that Carroll's rape claim was the central "threshold issue" upon which her claim of defamation was based and that if the underlying claim of rape was untrue then Trump couldn't have defamed Carroll by accurately denying an incident that never actually occurred, and therefore both suits should have been dismissed.

Brady went on to accuse presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan of giving the jury faulty instructions in the Carroll II case that provided the jurors with additional options to find Trump guilty of, such as "sexual assault," that had not been initially argued by Carroll's attorney.

He further noted that following the Carroll II decision, Carroll's attorney has now gone back to the first complaint and amended it to strike dozens of accusations of "rape" and replace them with "sexual assault," and have even contemplated filing a third defamation lawsuit for Trump's accurate assessment that the Carroll II jury had rejected her dubious rape claim.

Given all of that and more, Brady sought permission to intervene in the Carroll I case on behalf of the former president to help "clear his name" while he campaigns for a second term in office in the 2024 election.

Motion denied

That motion to intervene was filed on May 31, and Judge Kaplan wasted no time in issuing a dismissal of that motion on the very next day, June 1. In Judge Kaplan's brief response to that motion, he wrote, "There are only two legal bases on which one may intervene in a civil action."

"The first is intervention as of right, which is available only to one who 'is given an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute' or 'claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect its interest, unless the existing parties adequately represent that interest,'" the judge explained.

He continued, "The second is intervention by permission of the court, which in an appropriate case may be granted if the putative intervenor 'is given a conditional right by a federal statute' or 'has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.'"

"Mr. Brady does not satisfy any of these criteria. Accordingly, this motion is denied," Kaplan concluded.

How can one be guilty for denying something that didn't happen?

To be sure, Brady's attempt to intervene was almost certainly always going to be denied and it is not particularly surprising that his motion was summarily dismissed by Judge Kaplan.

That said, he did raise a valid point in questioning the logic of how Trump can be deemed guilty of defaming Carroll by denying her underlying claim of rape that even the jury agreed was likely to not ever have occurred.

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