Donald Trump’s motion for a mistrial in the civil battery and defamation case has been denied by the presiding judge, Lewis Kaplan. The trial resumed this morning and the former president was represented by his attorney, Joe Tacopina.
The case was brought against Trump by E. Jean Carroll, a columnist, who alleged that Trump had raped her in the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid–1990s and then defamed her when he denied the allegation. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
The judge’s decision to deny the motion for a mistrial has been met with some criticism from Trump’s legal team. In a letter filed overnight Monday, Tacopina said that there have been “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings” against his client during the trial. He went on to say that the proceedings have been “replete with numerous examples of Defendant’s unfair treatment by the Court, most of which have been witnessed by the Jury.”
Among the issues raised by Tacopina are the judge’s ruling restricting him from asking Carroll additional questions about any efforts she made to try to obtain security camera footage from the department store, “expressing a corroborative view” that there was no one on the sixth floor of the department store at the time of the alleged assault, and calling certain lines of the defense attorney’s questioning “argumentative” in front of the jury.
Despite the criticism, Judge Kaplan has ruled that the trial will continue and Carroll will remain on the stand for a second day of cross–examination by Tacopina. It would be unusual for the judge to declare a mistrial based on his own statements during a trial.
The case has gained considerable attention in the weeks leading up to it, and the outcome of the trial could have major implications for Trump and his reputation. For now, however, the trial will continue as scheduled and the jury will have to decide whether Trump is guilty of the charges brought against him.