This won’t take long, I promise. Besides, I’m in the middle of working on another article. But I just heard something on MSNBC that locked and loaded me.

On The Last Word, with Ali Velshi in for Lawrence O’Donnell, Velshi had the transcript of the day’s activity in the Carroll trial, which included her testimony. The testimony was tragically graphic, and portrayed what started out as a playful encounter gone tragically wring.

But then came the part where the record caught me by the throat. Carroll’s testimony was blunt but eloquent. She answered questions directly, describing the assault in minute detail. And at one point her lawyer asked, And what did you do then?, to which Carroll replied, What could I do? He was so big. I finally managed to get my knee up and into him, and finally push him back from me.

And then came the part that snapped me out of my article. Velshi stated that according to a reporter in the courtroom,

At that point, the jury stopped looking back and forth from the attorney and the witness, and locked onto Carroll with a laser focus

That hit me, hard. As you all know, I’ve been on two juries for civil trials, and there’s a flow to it. Jurors are strange, we have no actual active part in the trial. Our only two duties are to watch and listen, and take notes when we think something important has been said or shown. And so being a juror is kind of like watching a tennis match, you tend to look back and forth between the lawyer and the witness, depending on who’s speaking. That’s just human nature.

But when you get a reporter who says that a particular point the jury locked their attention exclusively on the witness? Trump is in deep sh*t. Jurors watch the speaking lawyers to measure their sincerity and demeanor by their body language. But when a jury focuses monolithically on the witness, what that tells me is that the witness has won the jury over. They’re hanging on every word he or she says, and that means that they’re sympathetic.

Which is going to be a real problem for Trump’s thug lawyer. As I wrote previously, I fully expect Trump’s lawyer to go all in on victim shaming, and hammer on her relentlessly. And if the jury already has sympathetic feelings for the witness, they’re not going to take kindly to a lawyer attacking her with a claw hammer. And that’s all Trump’s lawyer knows how to do.

I hope we get more courtroom transcript testimony and media observations from court tomorrow. Because when you break this case down to it’s basest level, it’s a classic He said, She said scenario. But because it’s a civil trial, beyond a reasonable doubt is not the issue. If those nine jurors decide that it is 51% probable that Trump did what Carroll says he did? Then he’s branded as a rapist. It sounds like she’s off to a flying start. Don’t touch that dial.

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  1. I can easily see how Trump mistook a photo of Carroll from back in the 90s for one of Maples. And, silly as it might sound (or even sexist with me being a guy) despite Carroll being 79 she’s still attractive, but in her TV appearances that short, curly haired hairstyle made her seem less so than she is. However, she’s now sporting a hairstyle more like the one in the title photo, a look like the one she had back when she was raped by Trump. And I hope the ladies here will forgive me for saying so but she looks quite lovely. More importantly, it will be much, much easier for jurors to see the woman they see in court as her younger self when she was strikingly beautiful – and VERY much Trump’s “type.”

    Trump is NOT in friendly territory. And if the jurors were as reported laser focused on Carroll AND have the night to have their (apparently very favorable) impression of her as credible parked deep in their minds then yes, Trump is screwed. The more his attorneys attack the more credible she’ll be to the jury and since Trump can’t be bothered to be present for the trial he’ll look like even more of a sh!theel. One who is hiding from the truth of what he did to Carroll. If this turns out the way we expect, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to one or more jurors down the road speaking up about how bad it looked for Trump and his case to have his lawyers savagely attacking Carroll as he was doing whatever a thousand miles away.

    • Trump’s,attacks on her appearance fell.apart when he mistook her photo for Marla’s.
      And just a,reminder, rape has a lot more power and control.than looks.I was a rape crisis volunteer. Our youngest victim.was 18 months. Our oldest was 83. And we had sevetal.male clients.

  2. He’s raped another human being (at least one) as well as raping our system of government. Time to suspend due process and fry his ass now?

  3. I guess I’m missing something here. How many warnings does this guy get? I thought the judge told him — and his lawyers — once, no more disparaging public comments about the case. Can he keep repeating the comments ad nauseam? Why did the judge say anything? Can I get the same treatment?


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