Former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis, on April 14. Credit: Michael Conroy / AP

Former President Donald Trump will return to CNN on Wednesday night, joining the network for a two-hour town hall event in early-voting New Hampshire a day after a civil jury found him liable for sexually assaulting a woman nearly three decades ago.

The prime-time forum, which was publicly announced last week, was expected to be notable because it would be bringing together a network and a candidate who have long sparred with each other. But the stakes were raised considerably Tuesday after jurors in New York found Trump had sexually abused and defamed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, though they rejected her claim that he raped her.

The jury awarded her $5 million in damages. Trump said the ruling was “A DISGRACE” and he vowed to appeal.

While the civil trial verdict carries no criminal penalties, it nonetheless revives attention on the myriad investigations facing Trump, who was indicted in New York in March for hush money payments made to women who had accused him of sexual encounters. Trump is also facing investigations in Georgia and Washington over his alleged interference in the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents and potential obstruction of justice.

The verdict also returns a focus to questions about Trump’s treatment of women over the years that he likely will have to address from CNN host Kaitlan Collins and the audience. Carroll is one of more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual assault or harassment over the years. Trump has denied the allegations.

Trump has generally not reacted well when pressed on stage about his behavior toward women, most notably during the first Republican presidential debate of 2015, when he sparred with then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly. He later said she had “blood coming out of her wherever” when she was questioning him.

Trump has a much more contentious relationship with CNN than he had with Fox at the time. Trump has called CNN “fake news” and sparred with Collins. She was once barred from a Rose Garden event after Trump’s team became upset with her shouted questions at an earlier Oval Office availability.

Nonetheless, Trump’s team saw the invitation from CNN as an opportunity to connect with a broader swath of voters than those who usually tune into the conservative outlets he favors.

“President Trump has been battle-tested and is a proven winner. He doesn’t shy away from anything and faces them head on,” said Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung.

What time is the CNN town hall?

The town hall is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

How can I watch it?

The town hall will stream live on CNN’s homepage and across its mobile devices, all without requiring a cable log-in.

Story by Jill Colvin, Associated Press.