As former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the field of 2024 GOP White House hopefuls, his rivals are openly rooting for his campaign to be derailed by one or more of the legal challenges he is currently facing.
Democratic strategist James Carville urged the party to capitalize on the situation, explaining: “Legal stories produce a lot of oxygen. This story does not need Democratic politicians and pundits to feed the fire. This fire is raging. Go start another fire.”
Following an indictment last month on business fraud charges that most voters saw as politically motivated, Trump is now facing a lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll.
As cross-examination was set to enter its second day, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina filed a motion to grant a mistrial, asserting that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan had exhibited evidence of a bias against the former president.
The judge dismissed his request without providing further details.
In his 18-page letter to the court, Tacopina cited the judge’s “one-sided rulings” as proof of “favoritism” and “a deeper leaning towards one party over another.”
Short of a mistrial, the lawyer requested “greater latitude” through which he could cross-examine Trump’s accuser and called on Kaplan to “correct the record for each and every instance in which the Court has mischaracterized the facts of this case to the jury.”
Just two days into the trial, Tacopina argued, “the proceedings are already replete with numerous examples of Defendant’s unfair treatment by the Court, most of which have been witnessed by the Jury.”
1/A little courtroom theater from Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina, who is moving for a mistrial because of comments the judge made etc. this won't result in a mistrial, but they are setting up an argument they'll make in appeal if the jury finds against Trump. pic.twitter.com/bHWdFnsSWm
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) May 1, 2023
The judge struck down Tacopina’s request to ask Carroll why she was not interested in viewing security camera footage from the store in which she claims that Trump attacked her nearly 30 years ago.
In response, the attorney wrote: “Proof that the Plaintiff never attempted to determine if such footage of the parties existed constitutes circumstantial evidence that her accusation is false.”
Tacopina’s letter also admonished the judge for chiming in on behalf of Carroll during questioning about a controversial passage in her book. Kaplan essentially provides her with a defense, stating from the bench: “It comes from Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ 700 years ago, right?”
Carroll responded with a “yes” and the judge called on Tacopina to “move on.”