Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Trump Legal News, Part I: No Testimony in E. Jean Carroll Suit

The Sunday deadline came, and went, and Donald Trump has declined to change course and to ask Judge Lewis Kaplan to allow him to testify in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll. And so, things are moving to a rapid close.

We wonder who it was that did not want Trump to testify. On one hand, the former president is ultra-confident in his ability to manipulate any situation with the force of his personality, and in the past he has definitely pushed his legal team to let him take the stand. That said, he is also presumably savvy enough to know he'd be picked apart by opposing counsel, and that anything he might say on the stand could haunt his political career. We could also see lead defense counsel Joe Tacopina pushing Trump to testify, arguing that it's the former president's only chance. At the same time, we could see Tacopina being shrewd enough to realize Trump's testimony would likely be disastrous, or arrogant enough to think that he's already made his case without Trump's help. You never know what happens when you get two alpha males in the same room.

We previously wrote that, in the event that Trump did not testify, jury deliberations could begin as early as this morning. Though we had a source for that, it was not correct. There are still closing arguments and jury instructions. Deliberations might begin sometime this afternoon, but more likely they will begin tomorrow morning. Either way, the odds are good that there will be a verdict sometime this week, probably by Wednesday or Thursday.

Once again, the standard in a civil trial is "preponderance of evidence," not "beyond all reasonable doubt." That means the judge will tell the jury that if they think Carroll's story is more likely to be true than false, they must find for her, even if they have a few nagging doubts. And in New York State, getting eight of the nine jurors on board is enough. It doesn't have to be unanimous. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates