Trump is a ‘continuous’ liar who destroyed E Jean Carroll’s reputation, jury hears
Donald Trump is a habitual liar and sexual abuser who destroyed E Jean Carroll’s reputation to protect his own after she accused him of rape, a New York jury heard Monday.
In the closing arguments in Carroll’s civil lawsuit against Trump for sexual harassment and defamation, Advice column attorney Roberta Kaplan told jurors they could believe testimony from 10 witnesses for her client or the former president, who declined to testify.
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Kaplan pledged Trump’s defense alleged rape in a dressing room at a New York department store in 1996 was that everyone else “lies about everything.”
“To find him, you have to find out that Donald Trump, the constant liar, is the only one in this court who is telling the truth,” she said.
But Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told the six men and three women on the jury that by his own admission large parts of Carroll’s account were “incredible” and “remarkable.”
“The whole story is incredible fiction,” he said.
Carol is suing for unspecified damages, alleging Trump attacked her in a fitting room in Bergdorf Goodman’s lingerie department in the spring of 1996. The former Elle magazine advice columnist is also seeking damages for defamation after Trump accused her of lying about the attack and “destroying her reputation.”
The jury is expected to begin considering their verdict on Tuesday. The courtroom was packed for the final arguments. A woman wearing a T-shirt that read “Arrest Trump” was denied entry.
Kaplan told the jury that Trump needed to be tried.
“Nobody, not even a former president, is above the law,” she said. “You must hold him accountable in this court for what he has done.”
Kaplan said the evidence showed Carroll was not a random victim of an attack by Trump, but was one of a number of women who fell victim to his “modus operandi” of charming and then attacking them.
Kaplan said Trump’s own words showed his guilt.
“In the truest sense of the word, Donald Trump is a witness against himself,” she said.
The lawyer referred to Trump’s claim that Carroll was not his “type”.
“In other words, ‘she wasn’t attractive enough to me to sexually abuse me,'” Kaplan said.
But the attorney noted that at one point Trump mistook a photo of Carroll for his second wife, Marla Maples, who Kaplan said was “just his type.” Kaplan also highlighted those Access the Hollywood Tape of Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent.
“What is Donald Trump doing here? He tells you in his own words how he treats women,” she said.
Some of the key evidence against Trump came from two of Carroll’s friends, who testified that she had told them about the alleged attack in 1996.
“To win Trump, you have to believe that not only is E. Jean Carroll lying, but that all three women in this case committed perjury,” Kaplan said.
Tacopina said that’s exactly what happened and claimed the three women “colluded” to fabricate the allegations against Trump.
The former president’s attorney said emails sent by one of the women, Carol Martin, who testified that Carroll had told her about the alleged rape within days were evidence of the conspiracy. In one of the messages, Martin criticizes Trump and says: “As soon as we are both fine [sic] to intrigue, we must once again do our patriotic duty”.
Carroll’s attorneys said that Martin would not have written the news if she had been part of a conspiracy or other news in which she criticized the advice columnist for going public with the allegation after remaining silent for more than two decades .
Tacopina accused Carroll of “exploiting the pain and suffering” of real sex abuse victims to bring a politically motivated case against Trump.
“She abused the system by making a false claim,” he said.
The former president’s attorney said it doesn’t matter that Trump didn’t testify because Carroll’s own words “torn up her story.” He said she admitted it was “incredible” that no one else was on the department store floor when she said she was attacked.
Tacopina said Carroll also said it was “a stunning coincidence” that a 2012 episode of the television series Law & Order included a character talking about bursting into a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room while a woman was trying on lingerie and raped her.
Tacopina suggested that the episode was the basis for Carroll’s story.
“Are you wondering what are the odds of someone getting raped in a mountain village locker room and that exact scenario comes up in a TV episode?” he said.
“It’s deadly. It’s proof. Ms. Carroll called this an amazing coincidence.”
Tacopina also dismissed the testimony of two women who said they were assaulted by Trump. One described grabbing her breasts on a plane in 1979 and trying to get his hand up her skirt. The other said she was forcefully kissed by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Tacopina questioned the credibility of the allegations, which he said were “a distraction” in any case and aimed at turning the jury against Trump.
The former president’s attorney told jurors Carroll is asking them to “convict another citizen of being a rapist” based on evidence “that would never make it through a police investigation in a million years.”
Tacopina said the former president was asked to prove a negative when Carroll couldn’t even provide a date for the attack so Trump could show he was elsewhere.
“Donald Trump has no story to tell here other than to say it’s a lie,” the attorney told the jury.
Kaplan denied allegations that Carroll and other women lied to frame the former president.
“There is no evidence, not a scrap, that such a conspiracy exists,” she said.
Carroll’s team dwelt on Trump’s unwillingness to go to court and defend his reputation against an extremely serious allegation.
Another of Carroll’s attorneys, Mike Ferrara, said the defense did not call the former president because it would have hurt their case if he testified. Ferrara concluded the closing arguments by saying that consequently it was not a case, he said, she said.
“There’s not even a ‘he said’ because Donald Trump never looked you in the eye and denied it,” he said.