Talk about a media dud.
E. Jean Carroll’s defamation and battery case against former President Donald Trump was supposed to be the first trial that dealt a serious blow to the 2024 Republican front-runner.
Despite the fact the writer claimed that Trump raped her in the 1990s inside an upscale New York City department store, she couldn’t come up with an exact date for the assault.
After Carroll’s team presented their case in court, Trump’s team declined to even present a defense, simply relying on their cross-examination of Carroll and the evidence already presented, both in the form of depositions and court testimony, to get their case across to the jury. Then, on Friday, lawyers for Carroll released 48 minutes of video from Trump’s deposition last October, according to CBS News.
This was apparently supposed to help their case. Upon watching it, it’s difficult to see how.
During the deposition, Trump held to his original statement that he didn’t even know he’d once met Carroll, and then noted that an undated picture of them together was from a meet-and-greet.
“I was either shaking her hand or her husband’s hand on a receiving line,” Trump said. “Like I say, I shake a lot of hands with people, but I had no idea who she was.
“I think that’s her big claim to fame, you know? That she shook my hand at some celebrity event.”
While this isn’t necessarily true (I knew who Carroll was before she initially became the umpteenth liberal to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct without any evidence in particular — mostly from her iffy, entirely skippable biography of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson), this is clearly the high point of her public existence, at least from a fame standpoint.
And while the trial was supposed to be a public bazaar, it’s mostly been a dud — to the point where Trump’s 48 minutes of testimony in October may be what most people remember from it.
For instance, Carroll’s lawyers wanted to call attention to an interview he conducted with The Hill from the Oval Office in which he said of Carroll, “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened, OK?”
He was asked if he remembered that. “Yes, I do,” Trump responded.
“I take it, sir, that you stand by that statement today?” Carroll’s attorney asked, to which Trump responded affirmatively.
This is when Trump managed to, more or less, take his best shot at her attorney and Carroll, after he was asked whether “you or anyone on your staff reach[ed] out to anyone at Bergdorf Goodman,” the upscale New York City retailer where Carroll alleges the assault happened sometime around spring of 1996.
“I didn’t have to reach out to anybody, because it didn’t happen,” Trump said. “And by the way — if it did happen, it would have been reported within minutes.
“You’re talking about going to a major floor — probably, I assume, the most important floor — a major floor in a major department store, that’s a very busy store, by the way,” he continued, noting that a sexual assault would be heard by those at the “check-out counters and everything else.”
“I mean, it’s the most ridiculous — it’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Trump said. “It was just made up.”
And he stood pat on his prior assertion: “I say with as much respect as I can but she is not my type,” Trump said. “Not my type in any way, shape, or form.”
He added, in a remark to Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan: “You wouldn’t be a choice of mine either, to be honest with you, I hope you’re not insulted.”
So, in other words, an attempt to shame Donald Trump into contradicting his prior statements was unsuccessful. Not only that, he noted that the only evidence that he ever even met Carroll was a singular photograph from a meet-and-greet event. (He even mistook her for his ex-wife Marla Maples, noting that the photo was “very blurry.”
This and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump were supposed to spell doom for the 2024 front-runner. Instead, both cases seem to have given him a boost in the eyes of Republican voters and neither has been particularly damaging. If this is all the left has got on him, the hope the legal system will derail Trump’s candidacy seems chimerical at best.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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