New York, May 1 (EFE).- The judge in former President Donald Trump’s civil rape and defamation case in the New York City borough Manhattan on Monday rejected his legal team’s request for a mistrial.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied the motion presented by Trump’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, who argued that the judge had made “pervasive unfair and prejudicial” rulings during the trial, specialized media reported from the courtroom.
In a letter to the judge, Tacopina said that in the event a mistrial were not granted, “alternatively, in an effort to salvage these proceedings and level the landscape, we respectfully request that the Court correct the record in those instances … during which the Court has mischaracterized the facts of this case and/or prevented defense counsel from doing so.”
According to the attorney, Kaplan’s interventions have “bolstered” the testimony of writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses the former head of state of raping her in the changing room of a Manhattan department store, Bergdorf Goodman, in the mid-1990s.
The plaintiff, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, also says Trump defamed her when she came forward with the allegations in 2019, noting that in a post on his Truth Social microblogging site he said her accusations were “a Hoax and a lie” and that she was trying promote a book she had written.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In his letter, Tacopina said that during his cross-examination of Carroll the judge continuously sustained “improper ‘argumentative’ objections of Plaintiff’s counsel.”
He added that in so doing the Court “prohibited Defendant’s counsel from using a well-established and accepted method of cross-examination, namely ‘looping’ … which is based on evidence in the record.”
During the first hearings in the trial, which began on April 25, a latent tension was evident between the judge and Trump’s attorneys.
Kaplan issued warnings to Trump’s legal team last week over social media posts pertaining to the trial written by the former president himself and by his son, Eric Trump.
An hour before the trial resumed last Wednesday, the 2024 presidential hopeful wrote on Truth Social that Carroll’s lawyer was a “political operative.”
Later that same day, Eric Trump tweeted that Carroll’s case was being funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who he said was acting out of “pure hatred, spite or fear of a formidable candidate.”
Kaplan shortly afterward ruled that jurors could not hear any evidence related to Hoffman’s partial funding of the case.
Carroll brought the lawsuit against Trump in November under a recent New York state law that provides alleged sexual abuse victims a one-year window for bringing civil suits against their purported attackers. EFE