Trump to cut Ireland trip short and return to New York to ‘confront’ E Jean Carroll

Donald Trump has been warned by judge in rape and defamation civil trial after making previous inflammatory statements

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 04 May 2023 22:49 BST

Trump ending Scotland golfing trip early to attend rape trial in New York

Donald Trump has claimed he is cutting short his trip to Ireland to “confront” E Jean Carroll after his defence team suffered a series of setbacks at his civil rape and defamation trial in New York.

Speaking to reporters while golfing at his Doonbeg resort on Thursday, Mr Trump said he would “probably attend” the trial, which is hearing its final day of evidence before closing arguments next week.

“I was falsely accused by this woman, I have no idea who she is – it’s ridiculous,” he said.

“I’ll be going back early because a woman made a claim that is totally false, it’s fake.”

After Ms Carroll’s attorneys rest their case on Thursday afternoon, Judge Lewis Kaplan said he was would give Mr Trump’s attorneys until 5pm on Sunday to confirm whether the former president would testify.

Ms Carroll is suing the former president for defamation and battery, alleging she was raped in a dressing room at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman in 1996 and her reputation was “destroyed” when the former president called her claims a “con job” in a Truth Social post in October 2022.

Judge Kaplan last week warned Mr Trump’s lawyers that the former president could be putting himself in further legal jeopardy after he described the lawsuit as a “scam” in a Truth Social post.

Former US president Donald Trump playing golf at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Co Clare, during his visit to Ireland

Judge Kaplan also denied a motion for a mistrial by Mr Trump’s attorneys, and frequently scolded his lead counsel Joe Tacopina for his “repetitive, argumentative and inappropriate” questioning of Ms Carroll.

He also warned Mr Trump to “refrain” from making inflammatory comments about the case that could incite violence.

Speaking in Ireland, Mr Trump described Judge Kaplan as a “rough judge”.

“He doesn’t like me very much, he was appointed by Bill Clinton,” he said.

He claimed Ms Carroll was a “Democrat” and that the lawsuit was a “political scam”.

“Because of that I have to leave Ireland and I have to leave Scotland where I have great properties, I have to leave early.

“I don’t have to but I choose to.”

E Jean Carroll arrives at a federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday

Mr Tacopina denied Mr Trump would “confront” Ms Carroll when questioned about the comments by Judge Kaplan on Thursday morning.

The nine-person jury heard three days of testimony from Ms Carroll in which she described in graphic detail the alleged sexual assault after a chance encounter between the pair at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1996.

Two other Trump accusers, Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff, also testified to having been sexually assaulted by the former president.

The jury was also played the damning Access Hollywood tapes, in which Mr Trump brags about committing sexual assault.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump’s defence team told the court they would not be calling any witnesses to testify in the case.

The jury heard from the plaintiff’s final witnesses on Thursday, and will likely be sent out to deliberate after closing arguments on Monday.

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