Author E. Jean Carroll arrives to federal court in New York, US, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. The trial of a civil suit by Carroll, who claims Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s, is set to start today.
Stephanie Keith | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A federal judge on Monday denied former President Donald Trump’s request for a mistrial in writer E. Jean Carroll’s civil rape and defamation case against him, allowing her testimony to resume.
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina had asked for a mistrial hours earlier in an 18-page letter accusing Judge Lewis Kaplan of making “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings” against the former president.
Tacopina argued that Kaplan mischaracterized evidence in Carroll’s favor, bolstered her testimony and wrongly sustained objections from Carroll’s lawyers that hampered his questioning of the witness.
The attorney asked that if Kaplan does not grant a mistrial, he “correct the record for each and every instance in which the Court has mischaracterized the facts of this case to the Jury” and give Trump’s lawyers “greater latitude” during cross examination.
Carroll returned to the witness stand in federal court in Manhattan on Monday morning after Kaplan denied the request. In her testimony last week, Carroll said Trump “raped me” and “shattered my reputation.”
Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., April 27, 2023.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the 1990s, and then defaming her when she came forward with the story decades later. Trump denies raping Carroll and says he has not defamed her. In recent social media posts, Trump has again questioned Carroll’s account and taunted her as “Ms. Bergdorf Goodman,” referring to the department store.
Before Carroll first began testifying Wednesday, Kaplan warned Trump’s lawyer about the former president’s posts.
Tacopina’s letter argued that Kaplan “shut down” a “proper line of questioning” about whether Carroll had sought to retrieve surveillance footage from the department store. The letter also said that the judge’s interjections over Tacopina’s use of the phrase “criminal charge” resulted in “unfairness” to Trump.
Tacopina also pointed to a moment in his cross-examination of Carroll when Kaplan chimed in to note that Carroll’s book, titled “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” was referencing a famous satire when it called for relocating all men to Montana.
“It comes from Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal,'” Kaplan noted in court. That comment suggested “Jury favoritism,” Tacopina’s letter argued.
Trump, who is a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has not made clear if he will attend any part of the trial.