Trump will not testify at E. Jean Carroll civil trial

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Former President Trump will not testify in his civil trial over writer E. Jean Carroll’s accusations of sexual battery and defamation, according to The Associated Press.

Trump’s attorney reportedly made it definitive to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in the courtroom Tuesday, which came after recent signaling that the former president would not attend.

Trump is under no legal obligation to testify or appear. Although he will not take the witness stand live in court, the jury may still hear portions of Trump’s deposition from October.

Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Her complaint, filed in November, sues Trump for sexual battery over the alleged assault itself and for defamation over an October 2022 Truth Social post in which Trump again denied Carroll’s claims and criticized her appearance.

Ahead of the trial, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina had indicated Trump might not attend, citing the security implications of him coming to the courthouse and “burdens” on the city. The trial is taking place one block away from Trump’s criminal arraignment last month in an unrelated case.

Tacopina had asked Judge Kaplan to instruct the jury that Trump’s “presence is excused unless and until he is called by either party to testify.” Kaplan denied that motion and stressed that the court could accommodate Trump’s presence, if he wanted to attend.

“As it would do for any person with business before the Court, the Court will do everything within its power to enable Mr. Trump to exercise that right,” Kaplan ruled. “Moreover, it is entirely confident that the United States Marshals Service and the City of New York will do their parts in securing that right to Mr. Trump, just as they repeatedly have done in other cases involving security concerns.”

Trump traveled to Scotland on Monday to break ground on a new golf course.

The trial began one week ago. Carroll spent multiple days testifying, and she is now calling to the stand various other witnesses, including two friends she says she confided in as well as two women who separately accused Trump of sexual assault. Trump has also denied their claims.

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