Trump’s Attorney Just Blew Carroll Rape Case: Top Sexual Assault Lawyer

Donald Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina “threw” the former president’s chances of emerging triumphant from the ongoing New York rape trial “out the window” during the cross-examination of plaintiff E. Jean Carroll on Thursday, Michigan attorney Jamie White has told Newsweek.

“The cross-examination of Ms Carroll was the most tone-deaf and shameless cross-examination I have ever seen,” White, best known for his work with sexual assault victims, said. “His insinuations were credibly rebuffed by Ms. Carroll. If Mr. Trump had a prayer of coming out on top, his attorney threw it out the window yesterday.”

White has successfully worked on several cases calling for justice for victims of sexual assault. Most famously, he represented the members of the US Gymnastics team who were assaulted by former coach Larry Nasser,

The cross-examination of Carroll by the defense was a crucial chance for Trump’s attorney to discredit the writer, who has accused the former president of rape and defamation. The lawsuit, originally filed by Carroll in 2019, accuses Trump of raping the writer in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the spring of 1996. Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing, claiming the incident never happened—leading Carroll to sue him for defamation.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump spoke at a campaign rally on April 27, 2023 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Trump is currently involved in a New York civil trial after writer E. Jean Carroll accused him of raping her in the mid-1990s.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Testifying in court this week, Carroll, now 79, described the alleged rape and said that she was not “settling a political score” by suing Trump, but rather a “personal score.”

As Trump is likely to not attend the trial, despite experts agreeing that leaving an empty chair in court doesn’t reflect well on the former president, a lot of the former president’s defense was hanging on the cross-examination. White thinks Tacopina blew it.

“His attacks on her credibility were based on discredited and ignorant theories that she is lying because she did not scream or call authorities,” he told Newsweek. “Any competent professional who works in this space knows most victims do not come forward initially. or at all for that matter.”

Tacopina asked Carroll if she was “supposedly raped,” suggesting she made her claim up. “I was raped,” Carroll responded. The lawyer then asked her why she didn’t “scream for help.”

“I’m not a screamer. I was in a panic, fighting,” Carroll responded. “You can’t beat up on me for not screaming.” She added, getting visibly emotional: “People always ask, ‘Why didn’t you scream?’ Some women scream; some do not. He raped me, whether I screamed or not. If I was trying to make a lie I would say I was screaming my head off, but I did not scream. I did not scream.”

White said that “to accept the defense argument one must believe that Ms. Carrol told two different friends about the assault 27 years ago with the plan to sue him 27 years later. That is ridiculous on its face.”

The Michigan attorney has no doubt that Trump will be found guilty in the New York rape trial case. “The next two witnesses will seal Mr. Trump’s fate in a civil context,” he told Newsweek.

“I expect Ms. Carroll’s attorneys to pile on with the Hollywood Access tape and deposition testimony. While the only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes, I would accept any wager that purports Mr. Trump will not be found liable for raping Ms. Carroll.”

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