Even lawyers in the civil rape case against Trump can’t learn jurors’ names

We learned last month that Donald Trump is getting a rare anonymous jury at his upcoming civil trial in the rape and defamation lawsuit brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll. But the former president’s aggressive behavior has continued such that even the lawyers can’t learn those jurors’ names.

It was remarkable enough when Judge Lewis Kaplan decided to treat the impending civil jury like one in a terrorism or organized crime case. In doing so, Kaplan recounted Trump’s whipping up of Jan. 6 rioters and his urging of supporters to “take our country back” in the face of what was then a potential indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s grand jury.

Since then, of course, Trump has been indicted in Manhattan, and his actions in the case since Kaplan’s March 23 order that made the civil jury anonymous have caused Kaplan to reiterate his rule — even when it comes to lawyers, on both sides, trying to learn prospective jurors’ names. The trial is set to start April 25. (Trump has vehemently denied Carroll’s allegations.)

“The likelihood of such difficulties since the Court made those findings only has increased,” Kaplan wrote Monday.

Kaplan directly mentioned Trump’s behavior in connection with his criminal indictment, including his personal attacks against Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing that case.

The Southern District of New York judge directly mentioned Trump’s behavior in connection with his criminal indictment, including his personal attacks against Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing that case. Kaplan cited “Trump’s public statements, characterized by the media as attacks against the New York State judge presiding over the recently filed New York State criminal case against Mr. Trump and the threats reportedly then made, presumably by Mr. Trump’s supporters, against that judge and members of his family.”

Kaplan even acknowledged that judges in other cases with anonymous judges have still allowed lawyer access to juror names. But he maintained that such a degree of anonymity was required in what he called “this particular — and unique — case.”

“Unique” is one way to describe Trump’s mounting legal troubles in New York alone, with his recent indictment and now upcoming civil trial in the Carroll case, saying nothing of the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

I noted when Kaplan ordered the anonymous jury that it underscored the Trump mob mentality. This latest order shows that the mob mentality remains undeterred, even in the face of criminal charges.

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