Trump attorney Joe Tacopina makes multiple peculiar requests for a mistrial
Joe Tacopina, the attorney representing Donald Trump in the rape and defamation civil lawsuit brought by journalist E. Jean Carroll, has sent an 18-page pre-dawn letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan requesting a mistrial, claiming “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings.”
In the letter, Tacopina makes numerous complaints that he says should require the judge to grant him his request.
Among the items Tacopina says are worthy of a mistrial:
Judge Kaplan would not allow Tacopina to ask E. Jean Carroll if, after allegedly being raped by Donald Trump in a sixth floor dressing room, she asked Bergdorf Goodman for copies of the security camera video. It’s not established there were cameras anywhere except (possibly) at the entrances/exits, but Tacopina is claiming there was no rape because if she had been raped she would have asked for video camera footage.
“Simply put, Defendant maintains that Plaintiff did not seek footage of her alleged rape because no such alleged rape occurred,” Tacopina writes.
Also, Tacopina’s courtroom table, he says, is bigger than the table for Carroll’s attorneys, and Judge Kaplan would not allow Tacopina to explain why he has a bigger table — or more precisely, to let jurors know that both legal teams are about the same size, even if more of Trump’s lawyers are seated at the courtroom table than Carroll’s.
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Judge Kaplan, Tacopina writes, “allowed Plaintiff [Carroll] to testify that Defendant [Trump] has two tables of lawyers at trial while prohibiting Defendant from fairly clarifying the record by showing that Plaintiff has a comparable amount of lawyers.”
When Tacopina asked Carroll about a portion of her memoir, Judge Kaplan noted that it was satire, based on the well-known 18th century author and satirist, Jonathan Swift. Because Tacopina did not get the joke, he suggests that’s also grounds for a mistrial.
Journalist Marcy Wheeler explains, “it wasn’t enough for Tacopina to complain, in this mistrial motion, that he wasn’t in on the joke because he didn’t recognize it as one. He decided to double down, scolding Carroll for misapplying one of the most recognizable forms of satire in the English language.”
“Ultimately this comes off as Tacopina — and by extension, Trump — whining that he’s not in on the joke, whining that there’s some kind of elite culture that Carroll and Kaplan share that grab-them-by-the-p*ssy types can’t be expected to adhere to.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, calling Tacopina’s motion “courtroom theater,” writes, “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.”
Ultimately, as Law & Crime’s Adam Klasfeld reports, “Judge Kaplan denied Tacopina’s mistrial motion without comment this morning before trial officially began.”
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