Trump lawyers will not offer witnesses at E. Jean Carroll rape defamation trial

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Joseph Tacopina, lawyer of former President Donald Trump, questions E. Jean Carroll before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan as Carroll’s deposition plays on a monitor in New York, May 1, 2023, in this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will not present any witnesses at the civil trial for a lawsuit accusing Trump of raping 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 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 Trump would not testify before the jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Trump has not appeared in 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.

The tape includes footage from the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump bragged to the 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 the 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 they will start deliberations in the case next week.

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

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

He has denied raping her, or even being in the store with her on 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: former President 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.