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Trump has no witnesses at E. Jean Carroll rape trial


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Joe Tacopina, lawyer of former U.S. President Donald Trump, questions former Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan as Carroll’s deposition plays on a monitor, during a civil trial where Carroll accuses the former U.S. president in a civil lawsuit of raping her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, and of defamation, in New York, May 1, 2023 in this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump said Wednesday said he will not present any witnesses at his civil trial for a lawsuit accusing him of raping the writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s and defaming her last fall when he again denied her claim.

Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina told Judge Lewis Kaplan that the one expert witness he planned to call to the witness stand is unable to testify due to a health issue.

On Tuesday, Tacopina said the 76-year-old Trump would not testify before the jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Trump has not appeared in that court since the trial began last week.

But the presumptive frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination was in Scotland on Monday to break ground for a new golf course.

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A videotape of Trump’s deposition for the case might be played later Wednesday for jurors.

That tape includes footage from the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump bragged to that show’s then-host Billy Bush about groping and kissing women without their consent.

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump says on that tape, recorded in 2005 when he was taping a segment of the television show “Access Hollywood.”

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. “Grab ’em by the p—-,” Trump said.

Carroll’s sister, Cande Carroll, was due to take the witness stand, followed by Natasha Stoynoff, who claims Trump assaulted her at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2005.  

Kaplan told jurors Wednesday that they will start deliberations in the case next week.

Carroll’s lawyers expect to rest their case on Thursday.

Carroll, 79, alleges that Trump raped her in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan after a chance encounter with him there.

He has denied raping her, or even being in the store with her that date. Trump has also said he would not have even had consensual sex with her because she was not his “type.”

However, during questioning under oath by Carroll’s lawyer for his deposition, Trump mistook Carroll for his former wife Marla Maples in a photo that shows Carroll and her then-husband John Johnson with Trump and his then-wife Ivana Trump.

From L-R: Donald Trump, E. Jean Carroll, John Johnson and Ivana Trump at an NBC party, late 1980s.

Source: U.S. District Court in Manhattan

Carroll’s lawsuit claims battery by Trump for the alleged rape.

The criminal statute of limitations for rape has long passed, but a recently enacted New York state law allows adults alleging sexual misconduct to file civil claims within a one-year window if those claims otherwise are barred by the statute of limitations.

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