Judge Warns Trump Attorney Amid Carroll Cross-Exam

April 27, 2023

Former President Trump’s attorney questioned plaintiff E. Jean Carroll during cross examination Thursday in a New York City courtroom where she’s suing Trump for rape and defamation. He also responded to warnings from the judge about his client’s behavior outside the courtroom.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina began his cross-exam in Manhattan federal court by asserting that Carroll used the word “supposedly” in reference to her rape claim, to which she countered, “Not supposedly. I was raped.”

On Wednesday Carroll had gone into detail about how a chance encounter with Trump at a Manhattan department store in 1996 turned flirtatious before becoming violent in a dressing room. She said Trump slammed her against a wall, yanked down her tights and raped her before she kneed him and fled.

Trump, who is not currently present at the trial, attacked the proceedings on his website trial Truth Social on Wednesday, calling the case “a made up SCAM” and asserting that Carroll’s lawyer is a political operative.

Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York warned Tacopina about his client’s actions, which he called “entirely inappropriate.”

“What seems to be the case is that your client is basically endeavoring certainly to speak to his ‘public,’ but, more troublesome, to the jury in this case about stuff that has no business being spoken about,” Kaplan stated.

Tacopina promised to ask Trump not to post anything similar again, to which Kaplan replied, “We are getting into an area, conceivably, in which your client may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability.”

Kaplan warned Tacopina again later in the day after Trump’s son Eric tweeted assertions that Carroll’s lawyer had received funding from a wealthy Democratic donor.

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, filed suit against Trump for battery under New York State’s Adult Suvivor’s Act on the same day the legislation went into effect—Thanksgiving day.

She already had a pending lawsuit against Trump for defamation, saying his public denials and disparaging comments have damaged her reputation. She is seeking unspecified damages in her battery lawsuit, asserting that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm.

Trump has previously called her allegations against him  “a con job,” a “hoax” and a “lie,” as well as “a complete scam,” which he maintains aren’t defamatory comments and are the truth.

Trump has not been present in the courtroom during the first two days so far of the trial, which Kaplan expects to last about five to ten days altogether. He is one of two people currently listed as witnesses for the defense, but Tacopina has not made clear whether the former President will testify in person. 

Meanwhile, Carroll’s attorneys have said they plan to use a deposition of Trump taken in October, during which he asserted that Carroll was “not my type”—but then also misidentified a photograph of Carroll as his ex-wife, Marla Maples.

Carroll has testified that writing about her encounter with Trump in a 2019 memoir led to her being fired from Elle magazine after 27 years there, and that it brought her death threats, leading her to buy bullets for a gun she possessed.

She further testified on Thursday that social media she’d observed since the trial began has revealed a new round of insults against her, including “liar, slut, ugly, old.”

However, she added from the witness stand that she “couldn’t be more proud to be here.”

Ahead of the trial Judge Kaplan rejected Trump’s bid to exclude the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he brags that he as a celebrity can get away with sexually assaulting women, as well as testimony from two other women who claimed he sexually assaulted them along with evidence that Carroll suffered emotional harm.

Kaplan also rejected a request from Tacopina for a one-month “cooling off” period following Trump’s arraignment April 4 on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money paid to at least two women ahead of the 2016 Presidential election. That hearing took place just a few blocks from where the rape trial is occurring.

PHOTO: Daniel Patrick Moynihan Federal Courthouse, Manhattan

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