Former President Trump will not testify at his civil trial centered around a rape allegation by writer E. Jean Carroll after his lawyers did not meet a judge-mandated deadline on Sunday to request that he testify.
Trump’s legal team previously insisted he would not testify or show up to the proceedings, even after the former president said in Ireland last week he would “probably attend” the trial, claiming he was leaving the country early to do so.
US District Judge Lewis Caplan, presiding over the case in New York, gave Trump’s legal team one final chance for Trump to attend, handing down a 5 pm deadline on Sunday for the former president to decide whether to testify in his own defense.
The decision by Trump not to testify means his defense team will call no witnesses in the case. Carroll is suing Trump for battery and defamation after he has publicly denied an allegation from Carroll that he raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s. He claimed he made the allegations up in order to sell books.
Kaplan last week said if Trump did not appeal to the court to allow him to testify by the deadline on Sunday, “That ship will be irrevocably sailed.”
“If he has second thoughts, I’ll at least consider it,” Kaplan said at the time.
With the decision of the former president not to testify, lawyers are expected to make closing arguments in the case on Monday.
Carroll’s legal team called a number of witnesses in the case, including a longtime friend of the writer who claimed that Carroll called her in the minutes after the alleged attack, urging her friend to go to the police.
The case also includes testimony from a woman who claims that Trump molested her on an airplane in the 1970s.
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