- Donald Trump’s rape and defamation trial has begun.
- E. Jean Carroll finally has her day in court.
- On Tuesday members of the jury heard from Carroll.
Donald Trump’s rape and defamation trial has begun. A nearly 30-year-old rape accusation against Donald Trump finally went to trial Tuesday, with jurors in the civil case hearing claims from writer E. Jean Carroll about how he attacked her in the dressing room of an upscale New York department store. The former president insists nothing happened.
E. Jean Carroll testified about happened inside a dressing room in 1996 that would «change her life forever,» as one of her lawyers, Shawn Crowley, said in his opening arguments, according to The Associated Press.
Donald Trump’s rape and defamation trial begins
“Filled with fear and shame, she kept silent for decades. Eventually, though, silence became impossible,» Crowley said. And when Carroll broke that silence in an autobiography published in 2019, the then-president «used the most powerful platform on Earth to lie about what he had done, attack Ms. Carroll’s integrity and insult her appearance.»
Trump, who was not in court but has not ruled out testifying in the case, has called Carroll a «nut job» who fabricated the rape allegations to sell her book. Defense attorney Joe Tacopina told jurors Tuesday that her story was highly implausible and lacking in evidence.
«Nobody’s above the law, but no one is beneath it»
Tacopina accused her of bringing the suit for monetary, political and status reasons, and urged the jurors, in a state with a vast Democratic majority, to put aside any animosity they might have for the former Republican president.
“You can hate Donald Trump. That’s OK. But there’s a time and a secret place for that. It’s called a ballot box in an election. It’s not here in a court of law,” Tacopina told the six men and three women who make up the jury. «Nobody’s above the law, but no one is beneath it.»
The trial takes place just a month after Trump pleaded not guilty in another case
According to The Associated Press, the trial will test Trump’s proven ability to dodge serious legal trouble and bring to light stories about the kind of sexual misconduct that rocked his 2016 presidential campaign as he seeks a return to power in the White House. Trump refutes all the accusations, insisting that they are falsehoods.
The trial comes just a month after he pleaded not guilty in an unrelated criminal case involving payments he made to hush up allegations he engaged in extramarital sex.
Is Trump in danger of going to jail?
Carroll’s lawsuit is a civil case, which means that whatever the outcome, Trump is in no danger of going to jail. Carroll is seeking damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements that she says were defamatory.
He famously said: «She’s not my type.» Her lawyers assert this is equivalent to describing her as unattractive.