Judge blames outspoken Donald Trump for denying rape trial delay
Donald Trump’s request to delay upcoming rape trial as a ‘cooling off’ period following his criminal arraignment is DENIED by judge, blaming the former president himself for calling attention to his own legal troubles
- Civil trial over author E. Jean Carroll’s claim he raped her in a dressing room in the mid-90s is set for April 25 after judge denied delay
- Trump’s lawyers say that the adverse publicity surrounding the arraignment on April 4 for falsifying business records hampered Trump’s ability to get a fair trial
- Carroll’s lawyers hired 27 mock jurors for a secret test trial last month to determine if they have a viable case – two of three panels found Trump guilty
A judge has rejected Donald Trump’s request to delay his upcoming civil rape trial, admonishing him for being partly to blame for bringing attention to his legal troubles.
Lawyers for Trump sought a one-month postponement of the rape case – brought by author E. Jean Carroll – to be held in federal court in New York on April 25 as a ‘cooling off’ period following his arraignment on separate criminal charges.
They claimed that the adverse publicity surrounding the arraignment on April 4 for falsifying business records hampered Trump’s ability to get a fair trial.
But Judge Lewis Kaplan flatly rejected the idea and said that ‘it does not sit well’ for Trump to ‘promote pretrial publicity and then claim the coverage he promoted was prejudicial to him.’
The decision to deny any delay comes days after DailyMail.com learned that lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump o f raping her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990’s, secretly staged a test trial in a Manhattan hotel to determine how their upcoming civil case will play out with everyday New Yorkers.
Lawyers for Trump sought a one-month postponement of the rape case – brought by author E. Jean Carroll – to be held in federal court in New York on April 25 as a ‘cooling off’ period following his arraignment on separate criminal charges. They claimed that the adverse publicity surrounding the arraignment on April 4 for falsifying business records hampered Trump’s ability to get a fair trial
After six hours of testimony last month, the 27 mock jurors were separated into three groups for deliberations.
Two out of three found Trump guilty.
In his decision, Judge Kaplan said that the coverage around Trump’s criminal case was ‘significantly (though certainly not entirely) invited or provoked by (his) own actions’.
The judge appeared to be referring to social media posts by Trump, which included him posting a photo of him holding a baseball bat against the head of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
In his 10-page ruling, Judge Kaplan said there was ‘no justification for an adjournment’ and that the rape case was ‘entirely unrelated’ to the criminal case.
The judge wrote: ‘The suggestion that the recent media coverage of the New York indictment – coverage significantly (though certainly not entirely) invited or provoked by Mr. Trump’s own actions – would preclude selection of a fair and impartial jury on April 25 is pure speculation’.
According to Judge Kaplan, ‘at least some portion’ of the torrent of media coverage ‘was of his own doing’.
U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan flatly rejected the idea of a postponement and said that ‘it does not sit well’ for Trump to ‘promote pretrial publicity and then claim the coverage he promoted was prejudicial to him.’
The judge appeared to be referring to social media posts by Trump, which included him posting a photo of him holding a baseball bat against the head of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg
During Trump’s criminal arraignment, prosecutors highlighted many of Trump’s social media posts attacking the case. Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the hush money case, ordered Trump to cool his rhetoric – but hours later he did the opposite and claimed Judge Merchan hated him.
In his ruling, Judge Kaplan said: ‘There has been no shortage of recent news articles focused on Mr Trump’s own public statements on his social media platform and in press conferences and interviews he has given about his indictment.
‘It does not sit well for Mr. Trump to promote pretrial publicity and then to claim that coverage that he promoted was prejudicial to him and should be taken into account as supporting a further delay’.
In the mock trial held last month, videotaped deposition interviews from both Trump and Carroll, as well as two friends she spoke with in the immediate aftermath of the alleged rape, and two other women who claim Trump also sexually assaulted them.
The lawyers also presented text messages and emails that Trump’s defense team is expected to present at trial to try to undermine Carroll’s credibility.
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)
‘That was the whole point of this,’ a person familiar with the proceedings told DailyMail.com. ‘They were trying to figure if Mrs. Carroll has a solid case and if she will win in civil court.’
Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle Magazine, has accused Trump of raping her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. She made her allegations during his presidency and filed two civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and defamation.
In preparation, her lawyers staged this one-day test trial to present both sides of the case to the curated group of New Yorkers.
For the unwitting ‘jurors,’ it was all quite the surprise for a Friday morning, the source told Dailymail.com.
After the introductory big reveal, another organizer stepped up to the podium to give a rundown of the witnesses, and instructed jurors – each given an iPad- to judge the credibility of each one in real time, on a scale of 1 to 9.
‘And so that’s what they did for six hours,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
The lawyer for Carroll went first, giving something of an opening statement maintaining how witnesses and documentation would prove that Trump raped, battered and assaulted her client in a sixth-floor dressing room of the luxury department store.
Carroll was the first person to ‘take the stand,’ questioned by lawyers in a videotaped interview projected on the screen.
Participants were instructed to wear business casual clothing and show up at 8am to the hotel near Battery Park in Manhattan
After breakfast, the participants were ushered into a ballroom where they sat down at tables facing a podium and a projector. It was only then that a representative of Nelson Recruiting stepped up and revealed what this was about: They were all being called to participate in the mock trial involving the former and possible future President of the United States
She was unable to specify the date or even month of the alleged rape, but said she remembers it was a Thursday evening, sometime between the fall of 1995 and spring of 1996. She said she’d been working that day and stopped at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue to shop for an outfit to wear for a dinner date with friends.
She described where she parked, and the dress coat she was wearing that day. While shopping, she didn’t find anything she wanted so started to head out. As she was exiting through the revolving doors, Trump was entering.
She said their eyes met and he remarked, ‘Hey, you’re that advice lady.’ She recognized him and replied, ‘You’re that real estate guy,’ according to her testimony.
Carroll said she re-entered the store with him, and he asked her to help him find something for a lady friend of his.
‘So they walked around the store,’ the source told DailyMail.com in recalling Carroll’s testimony. ‘She recommended different things in the store, a dress, a purse, but he declined all of those,’ the source said. ‘And at some point, they decided to go up to the sixth floor which was the lingerie section.’
The organizers presented a floor plan of the store, showing an escalator they allegedly took to the sixth floor, and the lingerie section in the back left corner of the room
‘When they got to the lingerie section, he picked up a purple teddy thing, and he tossed it at her and said ”try this on for me,”’ the source said. ‘And she said she was laughing the entire time because she thought they had a good rapport. So she tossed the teddy back at him jokingly and said, ”No, you put it on.”
‘So they went to the dressing room and she followed him, and she thought, Oh my god, I’m going to get this real estate guy Trump, this 6ft 2, 200lb guy to try on this teddy over his suit,’ the source said of the testimony.
Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle Magazine, has accused Trump of raping her in dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. She made her allegations during his presidency and filed two civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and defamation
When they got to the dressing room, Carroll testified, Trump pushed her into the room and blocked the door with his body.
‘And he had her pushed up against the back wall of the dressing room, and he tore off her pantyhose and he inserted his fingers into her vagina and then he inserted his penis into her vagina.’
Carroll explained that she tried to raise her knee to kick him off, but he had a good 100lbs on her. The alleged attack continued for about 20 seconds before she broke free. And she didn’t scream, or cry for help. According to Carroll, there was no one else on the sixth floor to hear her anyway.
But upon leaving the store, she testified, she immediately called two close girlfriends.
She said she was hyperventilating as she recounted the episode to Lisa Birnback, who advised her not to go to the police because Trump was a powerful man who would bury her in court. She next phoned Carol Martin, who suggested the same thing.
And that was the end of it. She never went to police. She testified that she didn’t even tell her family.
According to the source, Carroll seemed unemotional, almost matter of fact as she describe the rape, but teared up when she spoke about keeping the secret from her mother, not wanting to upset her.
Birnback and Martin’s videotaped statements were shown next, one after the other. Both basically reiterated what Carroll said.
After a short break, a man posing as Trump’s lawyer took the podium and provided a defense argument. He said they’d present video of not just Trump, but also communications between Carroll’s friends expressing doubts about the rape, with one badmouthing her as a narcissist who seemed to be enjoying the publicity.
Trump’s testimony was presented next. His bravado made several of the jurors snicker.
‘This is a man who’s very blunt when he speaks,’ the source said. ‘The first thing he said was, ”This never happened,” that he’s never met this woman before in his life and that, besides, she’s not his type. He said this in the nicest way possible. She’s not my type, I would not sleep with this woman, not ever have sex with this woman. These were things he said, directly or inferred.’
Trump appeared angry and fidgety, flailing his arms when he talked.
‘He was very annoyed with the person who was interrogating him, to the point where he said ”you should be ashamed of yourself,”’ the source recalled. ‘He said this was a hoax, that these people are out to get me, that these were people who hated him, that this was like a witch-hunt.’
He gave abrupt, dismissive answers to a series of questions.
Lisa Birnbach (left), the bestselling author of The Official Preppy Handbook, and former WCBS television anchor Carol Martin (right) corroborated Carroll’s story in video testimony
Trump would have been married to Marla Maples at the time of the alleged rape. Maples had given birth to daughter Tiffany in 1993 (above)
‘He was asked if he had any recollection of interacting with her on a Thursday at 6pm and he said no,’ the source recalled.
Asked if he shopped at Bergdorf, he said barely if at all.
Asked if he made it a habit to buy presents for his girlfriends or wives, he replied no, that he’d have someone else do his shopping.
In the video deposition, the questioner showed Trump an old photograph of himself standing with Carroll and another man at a party. Trump glanced at the picture and, either purposefully or unintentionally, mistook the blond woman for his ex-wife, Marla Maples.
‘But it wasn’t his wife,’ the source told DailyMail.com. ‘His lawyer jumped in at some point and said, ”you know that’s not Marla, that’s Mrs. Carroll,” and he said ”oh, okay,” and that was it.’
Trump stuck by his claim that he didn’t know Carroll, though acknowledged that maybe they’d traveled in some of the same social circles.
The source noted that Trump brought up one subject himself – an interview Carroll gave to CNN host Anderson Cooper in recounting the alleged attack. The former president homed in on a bizarre comment she made about rape being a ‘fantasy’ for many women.
‘He made it a point to bring up the Anderson Cooper interview multiple times,’ the source recalled. ‘He said that this is a sick woman who says people fantasize about being raped.’
Trump’s ‘lawyer’ then presented messages showing Carroll’s own friends questioning her decision to speak out all these year later.
According to the source, Carol Martin emailed a friend that she didn’t want to be part of this anymore, commenting that Carroll seemed to be ‘riding this narcissistic wave for too long.’
Martin stated that Carroll appeared to be wearing her rape story like a ‘crown,’ the source said.
In another cryptic text exchange, Carroll and Martin seem to be ‘scheming’ against Trump, talking about having ‘something special’ up their sleeves, the source told DailyMail.com.
The source said the communications were intended to plant seeds of doubt about Carroll, and that Trump would inevitably try to use them to discredit her and suggest a conspiracy against him.
Two of the most powerful witnesses came next, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds.
Stoynoff, a People magazine writer who went to Mar-a-Lago to interview Trump and Melania, tearfully described how Trump allegedly led her into a separate room, closed the door, then pressed her up against a wall and sexually assaulted her.
Leeds, meanwhile, recounted her ordeal on a plane more than three decades ago. She was upgraded to first class seating and said she sat down next to Trump, who after food and conversation, reached up her skirt.
‘She was struggling in her seat and said she couldn’t understand why the hostess or people behind her didn’t see anything,’ the source recalled.
The source said that two of the most powerful witnesses were Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds
Bergdorf Goodman (above) is only a block away from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue
After the condensed six-hour trial, it was time for deliberations. The mock jurors were given instructions to vote up or down, and award damages if found guilty, on each of three counts – rape, battery and assault.
The 27 were divided into three groups and each led into a separate room.
‘The whole point of it was to come to a unanimous decision,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
The jury couldn’t reach a verdict in one of the groups. The other two groups found him guilty all all three counts.
After sharing their decisions, the participants were free to leave.
Source: Read Full Article