Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

Dixie Cup

Senate Member
Sep 16, 2006
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Well you're half right; they haven't changed their gender. They've always been that gender, it's just the doctor who was wrong insisting that because they saw a penis, that meant automatically male (or vagina = female).
Yep, the doctor was right but hey, apparently not any more. How is that even possible? Well, because it's simply not. Biology can't be changed.
 

Dixie Cup

Senate Member
Sep 16, 2006
5,716
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Not at all. I'm guilty of bothsidesism, not whataboutery.

Because both sides actually do it.

The funny part is you honestly believe the right is a tower of truth and justice, with nary a scrap of lying, hypocrisy, or dishonesty in it.
Huh, you've just proved my point! Thank you.
 

spaminator

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Trump accuser in court for rape lawsuit trial jury selection
Trump isn't at risk of jail time from this one, but it could harm his reputation

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Larry Neumeister And Jennifer Peltz
Published Apr 25, 2023 • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — For decades, former President Donald Trump has seemed to shake off allegations, investigations and even impeachments. Now his “Teflon Don” reputation is about to face a new test: a jury of average citizens in a lawsuit accusing him of rape.


Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in a trial over former advice columnist’s E. Jean Carroll’s claim that Trump raped her nearly three decades ago in a department store dressing room. He denies it.


The trial is in a federal civil court, meaning that no matter the outcome, Trump isn’t in danger of going to jail. He isn’t required to be in court, either, and his lawyers have indicated he most likely won’t testify.

But the trial, which comes as Trump is again running for president, still has the potential to be politically damaging for the Republican. The jury is poised to hear a reprisal of stories of sexual misconduct that rocked his 2016 presidential campaign, allegations he claimed were falsehoods spun up to try to stop him from winning.


The trial also comes a month after he pleaded not guilty in an unrelated criminal case surrounding payments made to bury accounts of alleged extramarital sex.

Carroll, who seeks unspecified damages, is expected to testify about a chance encounter with Trump in late 1995 or early 1996 that she says turned violent. The trial will also include Carroll’s defamation claim against Trump over disparaging remarks he made about her in response to the rape allegations. She’s seeking a retraction.

She says that after running into the future president at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman, he invited her to shop with him for a woman’s lingerie gift before they teased one another to try on a garment. Carroll says they ended up alone together in a store dressing room, where Trump pushed her against a wall and raped before she fought him off and fled.


Since Carroll first made her accusations in a 2019 memoir, Trump has vehemently denied that a rape ever occurred or that he even knew Carroll, a longtime columnist for Elle magazine.

Trump has labeled Carroll a “nut job” and “mentally sick.” He claimed she fabricated the rape claim to boost sales of her book.

“She’s not my type,” he has said repeatedly, although during sworn questioning in October, he also misidentified her in a photograph as his ex-wife Marla Maples.

Carroll didn’t stop to speak with reporters as she arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning.

Jurors are also expected to hear from two other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Trump.

Jessica Leeds is set to testify that Trump tried to put his hand up her skirt on a 1979 flight on which the two were assigned neighboring seats. Natasha Stoynoff, a former People magazine staff writer, will testify that Trump pinned her against a wall and forcibly kissed her at his Florida mansion when she went there in 2005 to interview Trump and his then-pregnant wife Melania Trump.


Jurors will also see the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump is heard making misogynistic remarks about women, including an assertion that celebrities can grab, even sexually, women without asking.

Carroll’s allegations normally would be too old to bring to court. But in November, New York state enacted a law allowing for suits over decades-old sexual abuse claims.

The jurors’ names will be withheld from both the public and the lawyers, to protect them against possible harassment.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who will preside over the trial, rejected a request by Trump’s lawyers that jurors be told that the ex-president wanted to spare the city the disruption his presence might cause.

Kaplan noted that Trump has a New Hampshire campaign event scheduled for Thursday, the third day of the trial.


“If the Secret Service can protect him at that event, certainly the Secret Service, the Marshals Service, and the City of New York can see to his security in this very secure federal courthouse,” Kaplan wrote in an order.

Trump could still decide to attend the trial and testify. If he does not, the jury might be shown excerpts from his deposition, which was recorded on video.

On Monday, Kaplan instructed lawyers on both sides not to say anything in front of prospective jurors Tuesday about who is paying legal fees.

Earlier this month, the judge let Trump’s lawyers question Carroll for an extra hour after it was revealed that her lawyers had received funding from American Future Republic, an organization funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. In earlier questioning, Carroll said the lawyers were relying solely on contingency fees.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll, Leeds and Stoynoff have done.
 

spaminator

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Writer E. Jean Carroll tells jury in lawsuit trial: 'Donald Trump raped me'
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Peltz And Michael R. Sisak
Published Apr 26, 2023 • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — At first, she thought helping Donald Trump shop for a women’s lingerie gift at a luxury department store would simply be “a funny New York thing.”


Even when, according to E. Jean Carroll, the then-businessman motioned her to a dressing room as they dared each other to try on a see-through bodysuit, she imagined something like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch she’d written.


But soon, “my whole reason for being alive in that moment was to get out of that room,” Carroll testified Wednesday in the trial of her rape lawsuit.

“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen. He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back,” Carroll told jurors.

As she took the stand to give testimony that sometimes brought her to tears, Trump, from afar, repeated his insistence that Carroll’s claim of a 1996 rape is utter fiction. He called the case “a made-up scam,” and more.


“This is a fraudulent & false story — Witch Hunt!” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social. His comments prompted the judge to warn Trump’s lawyers that he could bring more legal problems upon himself.

Trump hasn’t attended the trial thus far, but his lawyers said Tuesday he still could decide to testify.

The trial comes as Trump again seeks the Republican nomination for president, and weeks after he pleaded not guilty to unrelated criminal charges that involve payments made to silence a porn actor who said she had a sexual encounter with him.

Carroll, a 79-year-old former advice columnist, was largely matter-of-fact on the witness stand — so much so that after she wept while telling jurors that “being able to get my day in court is everything to me,” she rapidly composed herself and declined to take a break.


“I’m not going to sit here and cry and waste everybody’s time,” she said.

Carroll testified that she crossed paths with Trump at the revolving door to Bergdorf Goodman on an unspecified Thursday evening in spring 1996. At the time, she was writing a long-running advice column in Elle magazine, having also written for “SNL.” Trump was a real estate magnate and social figure in New York.

She said he asked her advice about selecting a gift for a woman, and she was delighted to oblige. As an advice columnist, to have Trump ask for gift guidance “was a wonderful prospect,” and Carroll figured she would end up with a funny story, she said.

She testified that she suggested a hat, but he pivoted to lingerie, and soon they were bantering about the bodysuit. Amused and flirting, she went along, laughing even as he closed the door to the dressing room, perhaps even as he pushed her against a wall.


But then, she alleges, Trump stamped his mouth onto hers, yanked down her tights and shoved his hand and then his penis inside her while she struggled against him. She said she finally kneed him off her and fled.

Carroll said that for decades, she told no one except two friends because she was afraid Trump would retaliate, because she “thought it was my fault” and because she thought many people blame rape victims for what happened to them.

The alleged attack happened long before the #MeToo movement forced a reckoning with how sexual assault victims are treated by law enforcement and the public. Carroll has said #MeToo fueled her decision to come forward in a 2019 memoir and accompanying magazine excerpt.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll has done.


Trump, 76, has said he wasn’t at the store with Carroll and had no clue who she was when she first aired the story publicly. He has said she was “totally lying” and called the case a “hoax,” a “lie” and ” complete con job.”

Trump’s comments launched a “staggering” onslaught of hateful and occasionally threatening messages toward her, according to Carroll, whose suit also includes a defamation claim.

As court was about to begin Wednesday, Trump used Truth Social to vent his feelings again about the case and alluded to a DNA issue that Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has ruled can’t be part of the case.

He wasn’t pleased.

Trump, the judge said, appeared to be addressing his supporters and the jury “about stuff that has no business being spoken about.” Kaplan called Trump’s post “a public statement that, on the face of it, seems entirely inappropriate.”


Trump attorney Joe Tacopina noted that jurors are told not to follow any news or online commentary about the trial. But he said he would ask Trump “to refrain from any further posts about this case.”

“I hope you’re more successful,” Kaplan said, adding that Trump “may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability.”

Carroll is due to continue testifying Thursday, when Trump’s lawyers likely will get their chance to question her. Her federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a retraction of his allegedly defamatory comments. She never pursued criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the judge decided Wednesday that the trial won’t delve into funding that Carroll’s lawyers got from American Future Republic, an organization funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.


Trump’s lawyers had argued that the money raised questions about Carroll’s credibility. Kaplan concluded there was “nothing there” and, after hearing that Trump’s son Eric had just tweeted criticism of the funding, he again advised Tacopina to speak with Donald Trump.

Tacopina has asserted that Carroll sued to get money and try to punish Trump politically. Carroll, a registered Democrat, testified that she voted for his Democratic opponents in 2016 and 2020 but said that has nothing to do with her lawsuit.

“I’m not settling a political score at all,” she said. “I’m settling a personal score.”
 

spaminator

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Appeals court rejects Trump effort to block Pence testimony
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker
Published Apr 26, 2023 • 3 minute read

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Wednesday night moved former vice-president Mike Pence closer to appearing before a grand jury investigating efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election, rejecting a bid by lawyers for former president Donald Trump to block the testimony.


It was not immediately clear what day Pence might appear before the grand jury, which for months has been investigating the events preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and efforts by Trump and his allies to subvert the election outcome. But Pence’s testimony, coming as he inches toward a likely entrance in the 2024 presidential race, would be a milestone moment in the investigation and would likely give prosecutors a key first-person account as they press forward with their inquiry.


The order from the three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was sealed and none of the parties are mentioned by name in online court records. But the appeal in the sealed case was filed just days after a lower-court judge had directed Pence to testify over objections from the Trump team.


A lawyer for Pence and a spokesman for Trump did not immediately return emails seeking comment, and a spokesman for the Justice Department special counsel leading the investigation declined to comment.

The appeal was decided by Judge Gregory Katsas, a Trump appointee, and judges Patricia Millett and Gregory Wilkins, both appointees of former President Barack Obama. It was not clear if lawyers for Trump might ask the entire appeals court to hear the matter.

Pence was subpoenaed to testify earlier this year, but lawyers for Trump objected, citing executive privilege concerns. A judge in March refused to block Trump’s appearance, though he did side with the former vice-president’s constitutional claims that he could not be forced to answer questions about anything related to his role as presiding over the Senate’s certification of votes on Jan. 6.

A spokesman for Pence subsequently said that the former vice-president would not appeal and that his arguments about the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which is intended to protect members of Congress from being questioned about official legislative acts, had been vindicated.

“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Pence said in an interview with CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday. “And the story that I’ve been telling the American people all across the country, the story that I wrote in the pages of my memoir, that’ll be the story I tell in that setting.”



Pence has spoken extensively about Trump’s pressure campaign urging him to reject Biden’s victory in the days leading up to Jan. 6, including in his book “So Help Me God.” Pence, as vice-president, had a ceremonial role overseeing Congress’ counting of the Electoral College vote, but did not have the power to affect the results, despite Trump’s contention otherwise.

Pence has said that Trump endangered his family and everyone else who was at the Capitol that day and history will hold him “accountable.”

“For four years, we had a close working relationship. It did not end well,” Pence wrote, summing up their time in the White House.

The special counsel leading the investigation, Jack Smith, has cast a broad net in interviews and has sought the testimony of a long list of former Trump aides, including ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former adviser Stephen Miller.


Smith is separately investigating Trump over the potential mishandling of hundreds of classified documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, as well as possible efforts to obstruct that probe. On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers in that investigation called the Justice Department investigation “severely botched” and “politically infected” and urged the House Intelligence Committee to step in by holding hearings and introducing legislation to correct classified document handling procedures in the White House and standardize procedures for presidents and vice-presidents for when they leave office.

“DOJ should be ordered to stand down, and the intelligence community should instead conduct an appropriate investigation and provide a full report to this Committee, as well as your counterparts in the Senate,” the lawyers wrote.

It is not clear when either of the special counsel’s investigations will end or who, if anyone, will be charged.
 

spaminator

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Trump lawyer questions E. Jean Carroll at rape lawsuit trial
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael R. Sisak and Jennifer Peltz
Published Apr 27, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s lawyer sought Thursday to pick apart a decades-old rape claim against the former president, questioning why accuser E. Jean Carroll did not scream or seek help when Trump allegedly attacked her in a department store.


But Carroll, a writer and former advice columnist, rebuffed the suggestion that rape victims are supposed to act a certain way, saying such thinking deters women from coming forward.


“I’m telling you, he raped me, whether I screamed or not,” Carroll said, her voice rising and breaking, at the federal civil trial in New York.

Carroll, who is suing Trump over the alleged assault, claims he raped her in a dressing room at the posh Manhattan store in 1996. She did not go to police and said she only told two close friends at the time.

Trump lawyer Joseph Tacopina suggested her claims strained credulity, contending that she only came forward in 2019 — midway through Trump’s presidency — because of her disdain for his politics and because she wanted to sell copies of her book.


Trump, 76, says the encounter never happened, that he doesn’t know Carroll and that she’s not his “type” — comments that are at the heart of the defamation claims in Carroll’s lawsuit. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and a retraction of the comments.

Trump did not mention the trial during a campaign event Thursday in Manchester, New Hampshire. He’s not expected in court, though his lawyers have not entirely ruled it out. Jurors are expected to see parts of a videotaped deposition he gave in the case.

On Wednesday, Trump launched a counterattack against the trial on social media, telling followers on his Truth Social platform that the case was “a made up SCAM” and alluding to a DNA issue that Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has barred from the trial.


The outburst drew a rebuke and a warning from Kaplan, who called it “entirely inappropriate.”

Consistent and unruffled in her second day of testimony, Carroll grew frustrated as Tacopina zeroed in on how she says she behaved during the alleged assault. She says it happened after a chance run-in with Trump at luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman in spring 1996.

“You can’t beat up on me because I didn’t scream,” Carroll forcefully told Tacopina. She had explained in earlier testimony that she was “not a screamer — I’m a fighter.”

Carroll, 79, said that if she were lying about the assault, she would’ve told people she had screamed because “more people would have believed me.”

But, she emphasized, “I don’t need an excuse for not screaming.”


When Tacopina used the word “supposedly” to cast doubt on her claim, she immediately and sternly rebuked him.

“Not ‘supposedly.’ I was raped,” she said.

“That’s your version, Ms. Carroll, that you were raped,” Tacopina said.

“Those are the facts,” she replied.

She did, however, concede that some details of her story — including the lack of witnesses in a department store — were “difficult to conceive of.”

Seeking to make that point, Tacopina questioned Carroll about her testimony that she eventually fought Trump off while wearing 4-inch (10 cm) heels and without letting go of her purse.

The lawyer underscored, through his questions, that she didn’t seek help from anyone in the store as she allegedly fled by riding six flights down an escalator, didn’t ask about security video and didn’t seek medical attention or call police.


Carroll said she initially felt charmed by Trump as he asked for her help finding a women’s gift, exchanged jokes with her about trying on a see-through garment and led her into a dressing room. Even when he slammed the door and shoved her into the wall, she said, she couldn’t help but laugh and think there had been some mistake or misunderstanding.

“I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on,” Carroll testified as jurors listened attentively.

“Then he put his mouth against mine,” she said, “and I understood.”

Carroll said Trump yanked down her tights and raped her before she kneed him and fled. She said she would have kept the accusation secret forever if not for the the #MeToo movement, which gained prominence in 2017.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll has done.

Carroll sued in November after New York state enacted a law allowing lawsuits over long-ago claims of sexual assault.

Carroll said Thursday that a look at social media once the trial started revealed fresh insults against her as people labeled her a “liar, slut, ugly, old.”

“But I couldn’t be more proud to be here,” she testified.

— Associated Press Writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this story.
 

spaminator

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Mike Pence testifies before election probe grand jury
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker
Published Apr 27, 2023 • 3 minute read

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. vice-president Mike Pence testified Thursday before a federal grand jury investigating efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a person familiar with the matter.


Pence’s appearance before a grand jury in Washington scrutinizing the president he once loyally served is a milestone in the Justice Department’s investigation and likely gives prosecutors a key first-person account about certain conversations and events in the weeks preceding the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. It also carries significant political implications, coming as Pence hints at entering the 2024 presidential race and a potential run against Trump, the Republican front-runner.


The testimony, confirmed by a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity to discuss a secret grand jury matter, came hours after a federal appeals court in a sealed order rejected a bid by Trump’s lawyers to block Pence’s appearance.


Pence was subpoenaed to testify earlier this year, but Trump’s lawyers objected, citing executive privilege concerns. A judge in March refused to block Pence’s appearance, though he did side with the former vice-president’s constitutional claims that he could not be forced to answer questions about anything related to his role as presiding over the Senate’s certification of votes on Jan. 6.

“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Pence said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday. “And the story that I’ve been telling the American people all across the country, the story that I wrote in the pages of my memoir, that’ll be the story I tell in that setting.”

It was not immediately clear what Pence may have told the grand jury, but he is the most high-profile Trump administration official to be summoned before the panel. Inside the federal building where the grand jury has been meeting, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol, security was high because of Trump’s appearance with an unusual amount of activity from U.S. Marshals.


Pence has spoken extensively about Trump’s pressure campaign urging him to reject Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in the days leading up to Jan. 6, including in his book, “So Help Me God.” Pence, as vice-president, had a ceremonial role overseeing Congress’ counting of the Electoral College vote but did not have the power to affect the results, despite Trump’s contention otherwise.

Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, has said that Trump endangered his family and everyone else who was at the Capitol that day and history will hold him “accountable.”

“For four years, we had a close working relationship. It did not end well,” Pence wrote, summing up their time in the White House.


Trump was speaking in New Hampshire when news broke of Pence’s grand jury appearance. Asked at a diner if he was concerned about his testimony, Trump responded, “No I’m not and I don’t know anything about it.”

Lawyers for Pence had raised their own, more narrow challenge to the subpoena. They argued that because Pence was serving in his capacity as president of the Senate as electoral votes were being counted in Congress on Jan. 6, he was protected from being forced to testify about that process under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which is intended to protect members of Congress from being questioned about official legislative acts.

A judge agreed with that argument, effectively narrowing the scope of his expected testimony.


The Justice Department special counsel leading the investigation, Jack Smith, has cast a broad net in interviews and has sought the testimony of a long list of former Trump aides, including ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former adviser Stephen Miller.

Smith is separately investigating Trump over the potential mishandling of hundreds of classified documents at his Palm Beach, Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, as well as possible efforts to obstruct that probe.

It is not clear when either of the special counsel’s investigations will end or who, if anyone, will be charged.

— Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman, Lindsay Whitehurst and Nathan Ellgren in Washington and Michelle L. Price in Manchester, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
 

spaminator

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Trump accuser says many in her generation didn’t report rape
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Larry Neumeister And Jennifer Peltz
Published May 01, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

NEW YORK — A magazine columnist who says Donald Trump raped her in a department store’s dressing room two decades before he became president acknowledged Monday that she never followed her own advice to readers that they report sexual attacks to police.


E. Jean Carroll told a Manhattan federal court jury that she was born in 1943 and was a “member of the silent generation,” taught “to keep our chins up and to not complain.” She said she had only called police once in her life, when she feared the mailbox at a home where she was staying was going to be damaged on Halloween.


Carroll described her attitude about going to the police as Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, confronted her during cross-examination with instances in which she advised those reading her Elle magazine column to contact police or call a sex crimes hotline if they were attacked.

“The fact that I never went to the police is not surprising for somebody my age,” she said. “We were not trained to call the police, ever.”


Carroll, testifying for a third day in the civil trial stemming from her November lawsuit, has said Trump raped her in the spring of 1996 at a luxury midtown Manhattan department store after they went into a dressing room together in an encounter that she said was fun and flirtatious until Trump became violent. She said she eventually kneed him and fled.

Trump, 76, has long denied that a rape happened, that he was at the store with Carroll or that he even knew her beyond fleeting moments when pictures were taken of them in group settings in other years. He has not attended the trial, which is expected to last through the week.

Carroll’s renewed testimony came shortly after Tacopina asked Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who is overseeing the civil proceedings in federal court, to declare a mistrial because of rulings he made that Tacopina said favored Carroll.


Tacopina said if a mistrial was not granted, then Kaplan’s “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings” should correct the record for any rulings that may have mischaracterized the evidence or permit Tacopina more latitude in questioning Carroll.

The judge seemed to reject the request before testimony resumed Monday, asking Tacopina if the motion he found on his desk in the morning had been filed.

“It is now denied. Ok, get the jury,” Kaplan said.

Carroll filed a lawsuit against Trump under a New York state law letting sexual assault victims temporarily sue others for attacks that happened even decades ago.

Amid a flurry of public denials and insults from Trump that prompted Carroll to add a defamation claim to the lawsuit, Trump has insisted that Carroll was motivated by political reasons and a desire to sell copies of the 2019 memoir where she first publicly revealed her rape claims while Trump was still president.


Carroll has testified that she would have kept her accusation secret forever if not for the #MeToo movement, which gained prominence in 2017.

During testimony on Thursday, Carroll grew frustrated as Tacopina pressed her on how she claims she reacted to an attack from his client.

“You can’t beat up on me because I didn’t scream,” Carroll forcefully told Tacopina. She had explained in earlier testimony that she was “not a screamer — I’m a fighter.”

She said if she were lying about the assault, she would’ve told people she had screamed because “more people would have believed me.”

But, she emphasized, “I don’t need an excuse for not screaming.”

In his mistrial request Monday, Tacopina complained that Kaplan shut down his questioning when he pushed Carroll to explain why she did not scream, why she didn’t tell police or attempt afterward to retrieve footage from video cameras at the store’s doors to prove that she and Trump were there together.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll has done.
 

spaminator

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Woman testifies that she too was sexually attacked by Donald Trump
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Larry Neumeister And Michael R. Sisak
Published May 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — A woman testified Tuesday that Donald Trump molested her with what seemed like “40 zillion hands” on an airline flight in the late 1970s — years before writer E. Jean Carroll says the former president sexually assaulted her at a Manhattan department store.


Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyer said the former president has decided against testifying, answering the biggest outstanding question about the closely watched case. Trump has given sworn deposition testimony, and excerpts could be played for the jury.


Jessica Leeds, 81, of Asheville, North Carolina, told jurors at a civil trial arising from Carroll’s lawsuit that Trump grabbed her chest and ran his hand up her skirt as they sat side by side in first class on a New York City-bound jet. After a few seconds, she said, she wriggled free of Trump, told him “I don’t need this” and stormed to the back of the plane.

“There was no conversation. It was like out of the blue. It was like a tussle,” Leeds testified. “He was trying to kiss me, trying to pull me towards him. He was grabbing my breasts. It was like he had 40 zillion hands. It was like a tussling match between the two of us.”


Carroll’s lawyers called Leeds to the witness stand in an attempt to show that Trump has a history of assaulting women and that Carroll’s claims were part of a pattern, not a one-off incident. Another woman is expected to testify at the trial that she too was victimized by Trump.

Trump, a Republican, has repeatedly denied the women’s claims. He contends the allegations are politically motivated attempts to smear his reputation and deny him the White House. He has said Carroll lied to sell books and that she’s not his “type.”

Trump used similar language in denying Leeds’ allegations, telling supporters at a 2016 rally, “Believe me, she would not be my first choice.”

Leeds first went public with her account of the alleged airplane assault in the final weeks of Trump’s 2016 campaign, telling jurors that she decided to do so because she was “furious” about Trump’s claim at a debate that he had never touched women against their will.


Carroll, a former magazine advice columnist, publicly aired her allegations against Trump in 2019, when she published a memoir. She testified over three days ending Monday that Trump raped her in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store.

Lisa Birnbach, a longtime friend of Carroll, testified that an emotional and hyperventilating Carroll telephoned her minutes after her encounter with Trump to report what occurred. She said she told Carroll that Carroll had been raped and urged her to go to the police, but Carroll refused, leading them to argue before Birnbach agreed never to speak of it again.

Leeds said she was in her late 30s, working in sales and sitting in coach aboard a Braniff Airways flight from Dallas or Atlanta to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, likely in 1979, when a flight attendant invited her to sit in the only empty aisle seat in the first-class cabin, next to Trump.


Trump introduced himself, Leeds said, but she didn’t know who he was at the time. Working then as a real estate developer, Trump had not yet achieved the heights of his fame and was still a few years from opening Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Leeds said she sat with Trump for several hours and ate a nice, first-class meal, but that their conversation was otherwise forgettable. Then, she said, “all of a sudden Trump decided to kiss me and grope me.”

Leeds said she fought back as Trump seemed to get more aggressive, pressing his weight into her, jostling her seat and pinning her in it. No passengers intervened, and no employees from the now-defunct airline came to her rescue, she said.

“It was when he started putting his hand up my skirt that gave me strength. I managed to wriggle out of my seat and storm back to my seat in coach. I don’t think there was a word or a sound made by either one of us,” Leeds recalled. She said the encounter, “seemed like forever, but it probably was just a few seconds.”


After landing in New York, Leeds said she stayed on the plane until everyone else left to avoid running into Trump again. She said she kept the incident to herself, regarding it as one of the “rigours of travel.”

She did not report it to the airline, the police or her boss because, she said, it was an era when “women didn’t complain about things in the workplace.”

A few years later, Leeds said she saw Trump at a Manhattan gala with his first wife, Ivana, who was pregnant. But Leeds didn’t say anything. Instead, she told jurors it was Trump who piped up. She recalled him using a crass word in recognizing her as the woman “from the airplane.”

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll and Leeds have done.
 

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Ex-FBI supervisory agent arrested on Capitol riot charges
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Kunzelman
Published May 03, 2023 • 1 minute read

A former FBI supervisory agent has been arrested on charges that he joined a mob in storming the U.S. Capitol, where he cheered on rioters attacking police officers during the riot, federal authorities said.


The former agent, Jared Wise, repeatedly shouted, “Kill ’em!” as he watched rioters assaulting officers outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.


Wise was arrested Monday in Oregon on misdemeanor charges including entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, court records show.

Wise, 50, worked as a special agent or supervisory special agent for the FBI from 2004 through 2017, according to the affidavit.

The FBI says security camera video captured Wise inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters disrupted the joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Wise clapped his hands and raised his arms “in triumph” after he entered the building through the Senate wing door, the affidavit says. He left the building about nine minutes after entering.


Nearly two hours later, police body camera footage showed Wise berating police officers outside the Capitol and repeatedly shouting, “Shame on you!”

“You guys are disgusting,” he told them. “I’m former law enforcement. You’re disgusting. You are the Nazi. You are the Gestapo. You can’t see it.”

The FBI says it received a tip in January 2022 that Wise had entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

A federal magistrate judge ordered Wise’s release from custody after his initial court appearance in Eugene, Oregon, on Monday.

Wise lived in New Braunfels, Texas, until June 2022 before moving to Bend, Oregon, the affidavit says.

The FBI and a lawyer for Wise in Oregon didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

More than 100 officers were injured during the Jan. 6 riot. Over 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol siege.
 

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Trump calls rape claim 'ridiculous' in video deposition
'If it did happen, it would have been reported within minutes,' Trump said

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael R. Sisak And Larry Neumeister
Published May 03, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — Donald Trump called a writer’s claims that he raped her at a Manhattan department store “the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” testifying in a deposition shown in court Wednesday that the allegations were “made up” and that the assault never happened.


Lawyers for accuser E. Jean Carroll played about 30 minutes of excerpts from the former president’s deposition, including his emphatic denial of the longtime advice columnist’s accusation that he attacked her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room.


“If it did happen, it would have been reported within minutes,” Trump said, contending that shoppers and employees at the “very busy store” would’ve heard a commotion and alerted authorities.

“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story. It’s just made up,” Trump said in the video deposition taken in October.

Several jurors leaned forward, watching without expression as the video played on individual monitors in front of their seats.

In other developments Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys said they would not call any witnesses, and the judge said closing arguments would likely happen Monday before the jury begins deliberations on Tuesday.


Trump has not attended the trial and will not testify, giving his deposition more weight. Asked about the case while travelling in Ireland on Wednesday, Trump told reporters: “I hear we’re doing very well in New York.”

Jurors in federal court in Manhattan are expected to hear more of Trump’s deposition Thursday, followed by three more witnesses being called to the stand by Carroll’s lawyers.

Carroll is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a retraction of Trump statements that she alleges were defamatory.

Trump has denied ever knowing Carroll, saying once that “she’s not my type” and arguing that her claims are politically motivated attempts to smear his reputation and deny him the White House.

His deposition denials punctuated an emotional day in court that saw more allegations of inappropriate behaviour with women and the playing of the infamous “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about grabbing women’s genitals without asking permission.


Natasha Stoynoff, a former writer for People magazine, testified through tears that Trump forcibly kissed her against her will while showing her around his Mar-a-Lago estate just after Christmas in 2005 for an article about his first wedding anniversary with his third wife, Melania.

Before the trial, Trump’s lawyers were unsuccessful in trying to block jurors from seeing the “Access Hollywood” video and hearing from Stoynoff, who said she told only a few people about the alleged incident at the time, but decided to go public after seeing the tape and Trump’s subsequent denials at a 2016 debate.


“The horrifying part to me was that I worried, because I didn’t say anything at the time, other women were hurt by him so I had to regret,” Stoynoff said.


Stoynoff started to cry when asked about her trip to interview the Trumps in Palm Beach, Florida, reaching for tissues and pausing between questions to pat her eyes. Stoynoff testified that Trump drew her away from staff and a photography crew with a ruse of wanting to show her a “really great room” at the estate, before cornering her and kissing her.

Stoynoff, a Canadian who adopted an old family name for her writing career, recalled the door shutting behind her and that Trump soon “had his hands on my shoulders, pushed me against the wall and started kissing me.” The encounter lasted several minutes, said Stoynoff, whose real name is Nancy Stevens.

“I tried to push him away,” Stoynoff said, explaining how Trump came at her again and how she again tried shoving him away. She was “so shocked and flustered” she was unable to speak and didn’t scream, she said.


“No words came out of me,” Stoynoff told jurors.

Trump showed no signs of stopping, but suddenly pulled away when a butler came into the room to report that Melania was ready for the next phase of the interview, Stoynoff said.

As they walked to a patio area, Stoynoff said, Trump told her “you know we’re going to have an affair,” and reminded her that his second wife, Marla Maples, had once bragged to a tabloid that sex with Trump was the best she ever had.

Trump has denied that he ever tried to kiss Stoynoff. Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, suggested she had no relevance to Carroll’s case and ended his cross-examination after asking her a single question: Was she involved in any litigation against Trump? She isn’t.

Stoynoff’s testimony came a day after another woman, former stockbroker Jessica Leeds, testified that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt when they were seated next to each other on a late-1970s airline flight.


Carroll kept her claims against Trump secret for 17 years, telling just two close friends before going public with the allegations in a 2019 memoir. In the book, she described how a sometimes flirtatious chance encounter with Trump at the department store in spring 1996 ended with violence when Trump cornered her in a dressing room after they challenged each other to try on a piece of lingerie.

Trump’s lawyers attacked Carroll’s credibility through exhaustive cross-examination, questioning why she didn’t scream out for help during the alleged attack and why she never went to police.

A psychologist testifying on Carroll’s behalf said Wednesday that it’s common for rape victims to fall silent and blame themselves.