Trump won’t testify in E. Jean Carroll rape and defamation trial

Former President Donald Trump won’t testify in the civil trial over allegations he raped writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.

His attorneys did not issue a filing by the 5 p.m. Sunday deadline that Judge Lewis Kaplan set for them to notify the court if he wanted to testify. Closing arguments in the trial are set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday.

Lawyers for Trump and Carroll rested their case in the civil trial last week. Kaplan left open the possibility for Trump, who had said he would not appear in person, to take the witness stand in his own defense, giving him time to change his mind.

Former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll arrives at the federal courthouse May 4, in New York.John Minchillo / AP

Trump’s lawyers said last week that their client will not testify and that they are not putting on any witnesses — a position attorney Joe Tacopina reiterated at the end of court Thursday when he rested their case. He told the judge that he’d spoken to Trump earlier that day and that the former president had waived his right to testify.

Trump, however, told reporters on a golf course in Ireland last week that he was “going back to New York” because of the case.

Asked whether he was going to the trial, he said, “I’ll probably attend,” according to a Sky News video of his remarks. “She’s a fake,” he said of Carroll. “It’s a disgrace.”

Carroll sued Trump for battery and defamation, alleging he raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s and then falsely accused her of making claims that amount to a “hoax” and a “con job” after she went public with the allegations in 2019. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

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