Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer filed for a mistrial Monday in his client’s rape case, saying the judge overseeing civil proceedings in federal court ruled partly against Trump.
Attorney Joe Tacopina cited “widespread unfair and prejudicial rulings” by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan as the basis for the mistrial request, made in a letter to the judge.
Since misjudgments, while sometimes frequently requested in trials, are rarely granted, Tacopina probably expected the judge to grant an alternative version of his requests.
In those, Tacopina asked that Kaplan correct the record of any rulings that mischaracterized the evidence or allow Tacopina more leeway to question E. Jean Carroll, a columnist who sued Trump in November under a New York state law that allows victims of sexual assault to temporarily sue others for attacks that occurred even decades ago.
Carroll, 79, testified in a trial that began last week that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan, most likely in the spring of 1996. She said a chance meeting brought together the couple in an episode that was fun and flirty until Trump got violent in the dressing room.
Trump, 76, has long denied that a rape occurred, that he was in the store with Carroll or that he even knew her beyond the fleeting moments of their photos being taken in group settings in other years.
Amid a series of public denials and insults from Trump that led Carroll to add a defamation claim to the lawsuit, Trump also insisted that Carroll was motivated by political reasons and a desire to sell copies of the 2019 memoir where she revealed publicly for the first time her violation. she claims while Trump was still president.
Carroll has testified that he would have kept his accusation secret forever if it weren’t for the #MeToo movement, which rose to prominence in 2017.
Carroll was expected to testify Monday for a third day and a second day of cross-examination by Tacopina. Trump has not attended the trial, which is expected to last all week.
During testimony on Thursday, the last day of the trial, Carroll grew frustrated when Tacopina pressed her about how she claims to have reacted to an attack by her client.
“They can’t hit me because I didn’t scream,” Carroll told Tacopina forcefully. She had explained in a previous testimony that “I was not a screamer, I am a fighter.”
He said that if he was lying about the assault, he would have told people that he had yelled because “more people would have believed me.”
But, he stressed, “I don’t need an excuse not to scream.”
In his mistrial request Monday, Tacopina complained that the judge canceled his cross-examination when he pressured Carroll to explain why he didn’t scream, tell police, or later try to retrieve footage from security cameras. video at the store doors to prove that she and Trump were there together.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll has done.