Former President Donald Trump will not present a defense case in his civil trial on allegations he raped writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s, his attorney told the judge presiding over the case on Wednesday.
Trump initially had an expert witness lined up to try to rebut Carroll’s claims in the case, but that witness is now unable to testify due to “health issues,” Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina told U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.
The expert was one of only two people on the defense’s witness list prior to the trial in Manhattan federal court. The other was Trump.
Tacopina told the judge at the end of court Tuesday that Trump would not be testifying. “It is his call,” Kaplan replied.
Trump has denied Carroll’s accusations that he raped her in a Manhattan department store, and called her claims a “hoax” and a “con job.” Carroll is suing him for battery and defamation. Trump maintains he didn’t defame her because he’s telling the truth.
The jury will still hear from Trump — Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan told the judge she plans on playing videotaped excerpts from the sworn deposition he sat for in October.
Carroll is expected to rest her case Thursday, and jury deliberations are expected to begin next week. Carroll is seeking unspecified money damages.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.