Trump Won’t Present Defense – Rolling Stone

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Donald Trump will not take the stand or have his attorneys present a defense in the defamation and battery trial brought against him by author E. Jean Carroll. 

Attorneys for the former president told U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday that they would be declining to present witnesses for the defense, including Trump’s testimony on his own behalf. An expert witness tapped by the team to rebut Carroll’s allegations against Trump was reportedly unable to participate in the trial due to “health issues.”

“It’s his call,” Judge Kaplan said when informed of Trump’s decision not to testify before the court. “I understand that. You understand that. He understands that.”

Trump is currently on a trip to Scotland and Ireland to visit some of his golf courses, but his lack of interest in the proceedings within the courtroom have not stopped him from commenting on the trial. 

Last week Trump earned a reprimand from Kaplan, who warned that his Truth Social posts attacking Carroll could earn him “a new source of potential liability.”

“Your client is basically endeavoring, certainly, to speak to his quote-unquote public, but, more troubling, the jury in this case about stuff that has no business being spoken about,” Kaplan told Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina, “[it’s] entirely inappropriate.”

Carroll accused Trump of having assaulted her in 2019, alleging that the former president raped her in the the dressing room of New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in the ‘90s. Originally, Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump regarding statements he made about her in the aftermath of her revelations. The suit was upgraded in November 2019 to include a charge of battery under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act. 

In her testimony before the jury last week Carroll described the events that allegedly took place in that dressing room, and verbally sparred with Trump’s attorneys during cross-examination. Tacopina found himself at odds with Judge Kaplan. At one point, after Tacopina asked Carroll what sort of dress she had been wearing the day of the assault, Kaplan cut him off and dismissed the jury before grilling the lawyer on the intent of his line of questioning. 


Trump’s team has done what it can to undermine the proceedings. On Monday, Kaplan rejected a bid from the former president’s attorneys to have the case be declared a mistrial. 

The jury is expected to reach a verdict on the case sometime within the next week. While Trump may never set foot in this Manhattan courtroom, there are still plenty of pending legal cases lurking in the background that may at least require him to be present on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

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