Judge Calls Trump’s “Bluff” In Important Case

The jury in the civil trial against Donald Trump began deliberations on Tuesday with closing arguments wrapping up on Monday without Trump testifying, NBC News reported.

Trump did not attend the trial in which former Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll filed suit against him over allegations that he raped her in the 1990s and for defamation.

On Friday, Judge Lewis Kaplan set a Sunday deadline for Trump’s lawyers to inform the court if the former president intended to testify in the case. But his lawyers did not issue a filing by the 5:00 pm deadline.

Last week, while visiting his golf resort in Ireland, Trump told reporters that he would “probably attend” the trial. He said he was cutting his visit to Ireland short “because a woman made a claim that is totally false.”

But Trump’s attorneys told the court last week that he would not testify. The defense offered no witnesses in the case. When resting his case on Thursday, Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina told the judge that he had spoken to the former president earlier in the day and Trump had waived his right to testify in his own defense.

However, Kaplan had left the possibility open for Trump to take the witness stand in his defense and gave the former president the weekend to decide.

With the deadline past, closing arguments proceeded as planned at 10:00 am on Monday.

Carroll filed suit against Trump under a New York law that allows adult victims of sexual assault to sue their rapist in civil court long after the statute of limitations on criminal charges has passed.

Carroll alleged that Trump raped her in a dressing room at the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store sometime in the mid-1990s. She is also suing the former president for defamation over comments he made about her after she went public with the allegation in 2019.

The former president has repeatedly denied Carroll’s allegation.