Judge denies Trump's mistrial call in E. Jean Carroll's trial

Ripped from the headlines: Donald Trump’s lawyers charge rape accuser E. Jean Carroll lifted her claims from TV show Law & Order: SVU after judge rejects demand for mistrial

  • Joe Tacopina asked E. Jean Carroll if she thought it was an ‘astonishing coincidence’ that her allegations were the identical to a 2012 episode of Law & Order: SVU in court today 
  • Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in 1996  
  • Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the request for a mistrial by Tacopina

Donald Trump’s lawyers suggested his rape accuser lifted her claims from an episode of TV show Law & Order, as the defense cross-examined E. Jean Carroll today.

Joe Tacopina asked Carroll if she thought it was an ‘astonishing coincidence’ that her allegations were the identical to a 2012 episode of Law & Order: SVU. 

A jury heard that the episode was about a character who fantasizes about being raped in the lingerie dressing room of the New York department store Bergdorf Goodman, as Carroll alleged Trump did in the mid 1990s

Carroll agreed it was similar but denied watching SVU as she thought it was too violent.

Carroll sued Trump for battery and defamation last Novemver over the alleged rape and his Tweets afterwards calling her a liar.

The jury in Manhattan were shown an email from June 2019 sent to Carroll by a friend which warned her the SVU episode was airing.

Donald Trump’s lawyers suggested rape accuser W. Jean Carroll  lifted her claims from an episode of TV show Law & Order: SVU, Carroll sued Trump for battery and defamation last Novemver over the alleged rape and his Tweets afterwards calling her a liar.

Joe Tacopina asked Carroll if she thought it was an ‘astonishing coincidence’ that her allegations were the identical to a 2012 episode of Law & Order: SVU

Former President Donald Trump has called the charges a hoax. He is touring his golf courses in Scotland and is not expected to take the stand

Titled ‘Theatre Tricks’, it was about a ‘character that speaks of a fantasy that he rapes a woman in the Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the lingerie department, the friend, Grace Brophy said.

Brophy warned Carroll, whose book accusing Trump for the first time had come out weeks earlier, that ‘Trumpsters will use this against you’.

Carroll emailed back that she ‘hadn’t seen it’ but she was ‘not surprised’ as ‘this happens all the time with Law & Order stories’.

Asked by Tacopina if she watched Law & Order, Carroll said she was a ‘big fan’ but she didn’t watch SVU because it was too graphic.

Tacopina asked why Carroll was not surprised by the inclusion of the rape storyline. She replied that the writers of the show were ‘very good at keying into the psychology of their viewers’ and one of the ‘most frequent fantasies’ for men and women was rape.

With incredulity, Tacopina asked if it was as specific as a rape in the Bergdorf Goodman lingerie department dressing room.

As Carroll saw it, the parallels were an ‘amazing coincidence’.

Tacopina asked: ‘Five years before you come out with your story (about Trump) it’s an astonishing coincidence?’

Under questioning from her lawyer Michael Ferrara, Carroll denied having seen the episode of SVU or having heard of it before 2019.

Ferrara said: ‘Are you making up your allegations based on what happened in a popular television show?’

Carrol said no.

On her third day in the witness box Carroll concluded giving testimony and walked out the court smiling arm-in-arm with her attorney Roberts Kaplan.

Lawyer Joe Tacopina was seeking a mistrial in former President Donald Trump’s rape case, saying the judge has ruled with bias against his client

Earlier today, New York judge denied Donald Trump’s demand to declare a mistrial in E. Jean Carroll’s rape and defamation trial, after his attorney Joe Tacopina claimed the ex-president was being treated unfairly.

Tacopina cited ‘pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings’ by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan as he prepared to once again cross-examine Carroll in a New York court.

Kaplan then issued a denial, without giving a reason, and Carroll’s case continued on Monday morning while Trump headed to Scotland to tour his golf courses.  

Last week Tacopina questioned her claims that Trump raped her in a Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1996, and asked why she didn’t ‘scream for help.’

The Elle columnist sued Trump in November over the alleged attack and could get millions in damages if he is found guilty by the jury.

She was able to bring the case, which is civil rather than criminal, under a New York law allowing sex assault accusers to sue their alleged attackers, even if the statute of limitations has expired.

Trump, 76, has long denied that a rape happened, that he was at the store with Carroll or that he even knew her beyond fleeting moments when pictures were taken of them in group settings in other years. 

Tacopina made the request in a letter to the judge as the trial was set to resume, as Trump landed in Scotland to visit his golf properties. 

Judges rarely grant mistrials in cases they are overseeing, though such requests are not unusual. 

Tacopina may have been hoping the judge would grant a version of his alternative requests that might improve his position in court.

Tacopina also asked that Kaplan correct the record for any rulings that mischaracterized the evidence or permit Tacopina more latitude in questioning Carroll.

Tacopina’s complaints about the judge’s rulings followed tense exchanges in court with the witness Thursday, where he complains the judge shut down his line of questioning.

‘I’m not a screamer. I was in a panic, fighting,’ Carroll, 79, testified. ‘You can’t beat up on me for not screaming,’ she scolded him, something Tacopina denied he was doing.

‘People always ask, “Why didn’t you scream?” Some women scream; some do not,’ said Carroll.

‘He raped me, whether I screamed or not,’ she continued, in an appearance where she cried on the stand but spoke forcefully. ‘If I was trying to make a lie I would say I was screaming my head off, but I did not scream. I did not scream.’   

She said if she were lying about the assault, she would have told people she had screamed because ‘more people would have believed me.’

But, she emphasized, ‘I don’t need an excuse for not screaming.’

Magazine Columnist E. Jean Carroll accuses Trump or raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1995 or 1996

Tacopina accused Judge Lewis Kaplan of a series of ‘unfair’ and adverse rulings during the trial, in a sign of preparation for a possible appeal

Carroll testified at 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 spring 1996. She said a chance encounter brought the pair together in an episode that was fun and flirtatious until Trump became violent in the dressing room.

Trump, arrived in Scotland to tour his golf properties and plans to open another, has called the charges a ‘hoax.’

‘it’s great to be home’ he said upon landing. 

Amid a flurry of public denials and insults from Trump that prompted Carroll to add a defamation claim to the lawsuit, Trump has also insisted that Carroll was motivated by political reasons and a desire to sell copies of the 2019 memoir where she first publicly revealed her rape claims while Trump was still president.

Carroll has testified that she would have kept her accusation secret forever if not for the #MeToo movement, which gained prominence in 2017.

Carroll was expected to testify Monday for a third day and for a second day of cross-examination by Tacopina. Trump has not attended the trial, which is expected to last through the week.

Trump has denied the allegations being made by Carroll three times, saying ‘she’s not my type’  and they’ve never met.  (Trump and his accuser above at a 1987 party with their spouses)

The request for a mistrial comes after Tacopina questioned Carroll about her allegations during cross examination

Tacopina cites ‘pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings’ by the Court

Tacopina had been questioning Carroll about material in her book about shipping all men in the country to Montana to be retrained. Carroll responded that her commentary was satire. ‘It comes from Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal 700 years ago, right?’ the judge said. ‘Yes,’ Carroll responded, before the court said: ‘Let’s move on.’

Tacopina said in the letter it wasn’t for the court to ‘provide evidence from the Bench to corroborate Plaintiff’s position’ by mentioning the 1729 book about ‘solving’ the problem of Irish poverty by killing and eating Irish children.

He also wrote that the judge expressed a ‘corroborative view’ that there was no one on the sixth floor of the department store during the alleged rape.

In his mistrial request Monday, Tacopina complained that the judge shut down his questioning when he pushed Carroll to explain why she did not scream, why she didn’t tell police or attempt afterward to retrieve footage from video cameras at the store’s doors to prove that she and Trump were there together.

Among other points in his letter, Tacopina said judge ‘chose to essentially testify himself’ that some of the writer’s satire was commentary.

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