Trump Rape Accuser’s Legal Team Begs Judge for Secrecy in Mysterious Late-Night Filing


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[Why the secrecy? It sounds weird. Jan]

A whiff of mystery and secrecy has come to the civil trial of former President Donald Trump, who is being accused of a 1996 rape.

The suit was filed E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist, who is suing Trump in federal court claiming defamation over statements he made about her accusation that he had raped her in a Manhattan department store — an accusation Trump denies.

The trial began last week with Carroll’s testimony. Trump has yet to attend.

At 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, lawyers for Carroll filed a request with District Judge Lewis Kaplan to seal information that was discussed in private on Thursday.

“We write on behalf of Plaintiff E. Jean Carroll pursuant to Your Honor’s Individual Rules of Practice to seek approval to file under seal a motion and related papers,” the request stated in papers available at the legal document website CourtListener.

“On the morning of Thursday, April 27, 2023, the Court held a brief proceeding under seal concerning an issue that had arisen during trial. During that proceeding, the Court invited further briefing. Plaintiff now files such briefing and corresponding papers, and respectfully requests leave to file them under seal given the nature of the issue. Plaintiff further respectfully requests that any subsequent filings and hearings relating to Plaintiff’s motion be under seal as well,” the request read.

Attorney and legal analyst Lisa Rubin, who has been following the trial, offered some information on Twitter to fill in the gaps.

Rubin wrote that the letter “was followed by a motion, supporting brief, and an exhibit, which are sealed until Kaplan determines they should or should not stay that way. But given how little even the cover letter says, this appears to be no ordinary evidentiary dispute.”

That was not the only letter flying.

On Monday, Trump’s lawyer called for a mistrial in the case, according to CBS, arguing that Kaplan — who was appointed to the bench in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton — had made “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings” against Trump.

Attorney Joe Tacopina asked that Judge Lewis Kaplan dismiss the case or “correct the record for each and every instance in which the Court has mischaracterized the facts of this case to the Jury” and “allow the Defendant’s counsel to have greater latitude to cross-examine Plaintiff and her witnesses.”

The letter also said Tacopina was irked that Kaplan prevented him during cross-examing from exploring Carroll’s actions during after the alleged incident took place, according to ABC. In particular, he noted that Carroll had never gone to the police nor sought security camera footage from the Bergdorf Goodman department store where the alleged rape is said to have occurred.

“[P]roof that Plaintiff never attempted to determine if any such footage of the parties existed constitutes circumstantial evidence that her accusation is false,” the letter said.

Last week, Kaplan rebuked Trump for a social media post that called Carroll’s lawyer “a political operative”

“What seems to be the case is that your client is basically endeavoring, certainly, to speak to his quote-unquote public, but, more troubling, the jury in this case about stuff that has no business being spoken about,” Kaplan said to Trump’s attorneys.


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