Donald Trump has until Sunday to decide if he'll testify at rape trial

A judge gave former President Donald Trump until 5 p.m. Sunday to decide if he'll testify in his own defense in the E. Jean Carroll rape trial.
Posted at 9:37 PM, May 04, 2023

Though he is not in the courtroom, a New York jury is hearing from former President Donald Trump on the allegation he raped E. Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.

In a video deposition played in the courtroom, Trump called Carroll a "nut job" who is "mentally sick." He repeated that Carroll was not his type and that his infamous comments about grabbing women on an "Access Hollywood" recording, which is allowed as evidence in the trial, were "locker room talk."

Although Trump's attorney initially said the former president wouldn't testify in the civil rape and defamation trial, that could change.

While traveling in Ireland Thursday, Trump hinted he would attend the trial, amid comments about Carroll and the judge.

"I'll be going back early because a woman made a claim that's totally false," he said. "It was fake. She's a fake. She wrote in her book she's a Democrat. We have a rough judge. We have a judge that doesn't like me very much, appointed by Bill Clinton."

Trump accuser Jessica Leeds testifies on the witness stand.

Another woman testifies Donald Trump sexually assaulted her

E. Jean Carroll's attorneys called Jessica Leeds to the stand Tuesday in an attempt to show Trump had a history of sexually assaulting women.


At the end of court proceedings Thursday, the judge said it was his duty to allow both sides to share their part of the story, even though Trump has waived his right to testify.

The judge gave Trump's attorney until 5 p.m. Sunday to file a motion to reopen the case to allow Trump to testify. But the judge was very specific about his terms and said he won't necessarily allow it, though he will consider it.

Carroll is seeking an unspecified amount of money and a retraction of statements Trump made that she alleges were defamatory, one of which is his claim that she fabricated the entire encounter. She has said she initially didn't report the attack to police because she blamed herself. 

Carroll testified she told two friends about it shortly after it happened: Lisa Birnbach, who testified earlier this week, and Carol Martin, who testified Thursday.

Martin told jurors she believed Carroll then and she believes her now. She said she isn't proud that she told Carroll not to tell anyone back then because Trump had attorneys who would "bury her."

Both Trump's attorneys and Carroll's worked out a plan to do their closings and their rebuttals. They will each have two-and-a-half hours starting Monday at 10 a.m.