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Trump falsely claims he ‘wasn’t able to defend myself’ in E Jean Carroll case after rejecting offer to testify

Ex-president falsely claims to be silenced as ‘hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 09 May 2023 17:27 BST
Related video: Trump rape trial is wrapping up

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that he “wasn’t able to defend” himself in the E Jean Carroll case after he rejected an offer to testify in the trial.

On Tuesday morning, the former president wrote on Truth Social that he was “waiting for a jury decision on a False Accusation where I, despite being a current political candidate and leading all others in both parties, am not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me”.

Mr Trump’s rant comes after he missed the deadline to testify in the civil rape trial brought against him by Ms Carroll, a writer and magazine journalist.

The Sunday 5pm ET deadline passed without Mr Trump’s lawyers filing a motion to inform the court of any change in plans – despite the former president previously saying that he was cutting his trip to Scotland and Ireland short to head back to New York and “confront” Ms Carroll.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan had warned Mr Trump that once the deadline passed, he would no longer have the opportunity to testify in the case.

“That ship will be irrevocably sailed,” he said.

Ms Carroll, a former Elle advice columnist, claimed that he raped her in a dressing room in Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1995 or 1996 – a claim Mr Trump strongly denies.

Judge Kaplan issued the Sunday 5pm deadline on Thursday giving Mr Trump an extension to appear and testify in court.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Trump added: “In the meantime, the other side has a book falsely accusing me of Rape, & is working with the press. I will therefore not speak until after the trial, but will appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me, as a candidate, no matter the outcome!”

Ms Carroll made the allegation against Mr Trump public for the first time in her 2019 book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

Judge Kaplan’s extension came after Mr Trump told reporters in Ireland that he would “probably” shorten his trip and return to the US to attend the trial.

“I’m going to go back, and I’m going to confront this,” Mr Trump said, adding that “this woman is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen in our country”, according to The Daily Beast.

He also attacked Ms Carroll, calling her “fake” and saying that Judge Kaplan was “extremely hostile”.

“I have to leave early. I don’t have to but I choose to,” Mr Trump said, according to the New York Daily News. “I was falsely accused by this woman. I have no idea who she is. It’s ridiculous.”

“He doesn’t like me very much,” Mr Trump added of Judge Kaplan. “It’s a disgrace but we have to do it. It’s a part of life.”

Judge Kaplan mentioned Mr Trump’s comments in Ireland when saying last week that the jury needed the opportunity to hear from him personally.

“In the interests of justice,” the judge said he would allow the case to be reopened for a short period of time to give Mr Trump an opportunity to testify.

“If he has second thoughts, I’ll at least consider it,” the judge said as he announced the deadline.

But, despite Mr Trump’s comments, his lawyer Joe Tacopina said on Thursday that he wouldn’t be attending the trial.

Ms Carroll’s legal team called 11 witnesses during the two-week proceedings while the defence called none. Both legal teams rested their cases on Thursday.

Mr Trump has rejected all allegations in relation to the case, saying that Ms Carroll wasn’t his “type” and that he doesn’t know who she is.

Following closing arguments on Monday, the case has now been handed to the jury for deliberations.

On Tuesday morning, the ex-president also took to Truth Social to bellow about “ELECTION INTERFERENCE AT A LEVEL NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN OUR COUNTRY. WE’LL WIN ANYWAY, & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!!”

He also went after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, saying that “Once people started learning about Ron DeSanctimonious, his Poll Numbers and popularity started to disintegrate at a level and speed rarely seen before in American Politics. Just an Average Governor (look at the stats!) with great P.R. Probably lost MAGA forever!”

“DeSanctimonious put off his announcement until June because his numbers are sooo BAD. He also got rid of his ridiculous ‘Exploratory Committee’ because he didn’t like what they were telling him. MAGA!!!” Mr Trump added.

He said his Wednesday night town hall on CNN, “Could be the beginning of a New & Vibrant CNN, with no more Fake News, or it could turn into a disaster for all, including me”.

Mr Trump claimed the network was “rightfully desperate to get those fantastic (TRUMP!) ratings”.

Later on Tuesday, he called his former Attorney General Bill Barr a “sloppy, lethargic mess” who was “lazy as hell, and petrified of the Radical Left Democrats, & the fact that they were going to impeach him”.

“I wish they had, which would have meant that he was doing his job, which he wasn’t,” Mr Trump said, adding that Mr Barr was “Bad on Election Fraud & just about everything else he touched”.

“Sloppy Bill is now a human sound bite, along with Karl Rove, Wacky Peggy ‘I hate Reagan’ Noonan, & Paul Ryan, for Rupert Murdoch & his ANTI-TRUMP (just like 2016!) WSJ, Plus!” he said.

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