Former US President Donald Trump will not testify in a civil trial to contest charges made by writer E. Jean Carroll that he assaulted her in the 1990s and later defamed her, after failing to appear in court on a Sunday deadline.
Trump’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, told the judge on Thursday that Trump had waived his right to testify in the Manhattan federal court trial and chose not to provide a defense, betting that jurors would decide Carroll had failed to make a compelling case.
Tacopina said in a statement in response to a Reuters request for comment that Trump’s legal team had previously advised the court on Thursday that the former president would not testify in the case.
After the jury adjourned for the day on Thursday, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan directed Tacopina to notify Trump that he had until Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) to notify the court of his intent to testify.
Kaplan has set the two sides’ closing arguments on Monday. Carroll, 79, sued Trump, 76, last year, saying he assaulted her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996, then defamed her by denying it happened. The former advice writer for Elle magazine is suing for undisclosed monetary damages.
Trump, who was president from 2017 to 2021 and is currently the Republican frontrunner for the US presidential nomination in 2024, has claimed Carroll made up the charge to boost sales of her 2019 biography.
Trump denied raping Carroll in a video deposition aired for the jury on Wednesday.
“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Trump said in the video, bent over a conference table as Carroll’s attorneys handed him the paperwork. “It’s just made up.”