Former US President Donald Trump has declined the opportunity to take the stand at his civil rape trial and will not be returning to New York City to confront his accuser, E. Jean Carroll.
Manhattan Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan had given Trump until Sunday to request the case be reopened so that he could testify, after Trump had reportedly told reporters he would return from his golf trip in Ireland to attend the trial.
Carroll’s lawyers had highlighted Truth Social posts that previously landed Trump in hot water which remained online. The judge scolded Trump’s lawyers for his false statements about the case at the start of the trial, describing it as “troublesome” that Trump might be trying to reach “the jury in this case about stuff that has no business being spoken about.”
Nine New Yorkers will soon determine whether Trump committed battery and defamation when Carroll, 79, accused him of raping her decades later. The panel is set to get the case after hearing closing arguments on Monday.
Carroll, a former Elle advice columnist and TV personality, presented 11 witnesses and played footage of Trump making nasty remarks about her before resting her case on Thursday.
Trump’s lawyers did not put on a case, informing the court early last week that the psychiatrist they had planned to call could not make it.
The bombshell trial is one of three Trump, 76, faces in his home state, along with ramping-up investigations in Washington, D.C., and Georgia.
The New York attorney general’s $250 million lawsuit against him and his family’s real estate business is going on trial this fall, while the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal case concerning Trump’s notorious hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels is tentatively set for trial in early 2024. Trump denies all wrongdoing.