All of us should have been able to see this coming a mile off, I know I did. Today Trump’s thug lawyer confirmed to the court that he would be presenting no defense in Trump’s sexual assault/defamation suit filed by writer E Jean Carroll. As a result, it appears that closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
I’ve pointed this out before. When it comes to this case, it all comes down to E Jean Carroll. If the jury believes her, then it’s over. It is a deviant from the classical He said, She said case. This time it’s a He said, She said, She said, She said, she said case. Carroll produced to lifelong friends who testified that Carroll told her about the sexual assault in short order after the event. And two more women took the stand to relate accusations of sexual assault at the hands of Trump to establish pattern. And then Carroll’s lawyer called expert psychological witnesses to the stand to attest to the fact that her reactions were not out of the norm for such cases.
But what about Trump’s defense? As I stated earlier, Trump’s defense was an empty vessel. After all, most rape cases are He said, She said. The victims best evidence, other than DNA are spontaneous declarations to friends and family members in the direct aftermath. And the best witnesses for the defense are multiple witnesses who claim under oath that the defendant was busy playing poker with them in Bayonne, so SODDI. Some. Other. Dude. Did. It. But Trump doesn’t have any of those. At least none that want to face perjury charges.
You know, one of my all time favorite movies is My Cousin Vinnie, where Joe Pesci plays a typical low rent, smart aleck New York lawyer who passed the bar exam on the 7th try, trying to defend his cousin and his friend against murder charges in Alabama. It was about what you’d expect, and the funniest 2 hours you can spend in front of the boob tube.
But when you’re an actual, arrogant, smart mouth, low rent New York lawyer trying to defend a billionaire client against sexual assault and defamation allegations, it stops being funny real quick. Because while Vinny sarcastically skewered witnesses to get to the truth, Joe Tacopina ruthlessly attacked E Jean Carroll in an all out effort to humiliate, denigrate, and depersonalize her. Not such a winning strategy in an enlightened court.
If all goes as scheduled, E Jean Carroll’s lawyer will stand up and hopefully deliver the most persuasive, powerful closing argument of his career, looking to get Carroll justice, however much delayed. And Joe Tacopenis? All he can do is to stand up and spew out the same vile filth he’s sprayed the courtroom with for a week now.
As a former juror I can tell you this. When a lawyer stands up to make a closing argument, I expect the babble, but I also expect the lawyer to tether all of the rhetoric to reality. Say something, and then tether it to a fact, or some evidence, or a testimonial statement. Show me something that is more than just blah, blah, blah. And Tacopina has nothing to show. All he can do in closing arguments is to keep victim shaming Carroll and hope for the best. I don’t see that as a winning strategy. Don’t touch that dial.