E. Jean Carroll accused Donald Trump of rape. A civil…

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Prosecutors in New York City have charged Donald Trump with nearly three dozen felonies.

Federal and local officials in Washington, D.C., and Georgia are investigating him over issues including his handling of classified materials and his efforts to block Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

New York’s attorney general is suing him alleging fraud.

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But before any of those investigations and cases wrap up, Trump will face a civil trial on allegations that he raped E. Jean Carroll, a writer and former magazine columnist, nearly three decades ago.

The trial centering on Carroll’s accusations, which is set to begin Tuesday with jury selection in downtown Manhattan, comes at a moment of immense legal and investigative scrutiny for the former president.

The Carroll case marks the third time in a month that Trump, who lives in Florida, may be in New York City for a legal proceeding. In recent weeks, he was arraigned on criminal charges brought by Manhattan’s district attorney and deposed in the attorney general’s fraud lawsuit. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in these and other cases involving him.

While the other investigations in New York deal with allegations of falsifying business records and financial fraud, the Carroll case centers on an accusation of sudden, harrowing violence.

Carroll said Trump raped her in the mid-1990s, years before he became president. Trump has repeatedly denied her allegations and called her a liar, and Carroll filed lawsuits accusing him of defamation and battery.

While Carroll has made clear that she plans to testify at the trial, it remains unknown whether Trump will show up in court or take the witness stand. Trump has no obligation to do either, and his attorney has said a decision will be made during the trial, which is expected to last about a week or longer.

With Trump mounting a third bid for the White House, the Carroll trial could push the spate of sexual misconduct allegations made against him back into the headlines.

Carroll first publicly accused Trump of sexual assault in 2019, when an excerpt of her memoir “What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal” was published in New York Magazine.

In her account, Carroll said she and Trump bumped into each other at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale Manhattan department store. At the time, Trump was a real estate developer and tabloid mainstay, while Carroll was a writer and television host.

She said Trump asked her for help picking out a gift for a woman, and they joked with each other about who should try on a bodysuit at the store. Carroll said they went into a dressing room and, she alleged, Trump pinned her against the wall, unzipped his pants and raped her.

Carroll has said she confided in two close friends afterward about what happened but decided not to tell anyone else, fearing damage to her reputation.

Trump has said this never happened. After her allegations were made public, Trump said the two never met and that “people should pay dearly for such false accusations.” Trump and the White House accused Carroll of making the claim to try to sell books.

Carroll is among more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including allegations that he groped or kissed them against their will. Many of these allegations were made late in the 2016 presidential campaign, not long after The Washington Post published a recording of Trump speaking in explicit terms during an “Access Hollywood” interview years earlier about grabbing women by their genitals.

Trump has denied his accusers’ allegations and responded to their claims by disparaging the women, branding them all as liars and, in some cases, mocking their physical appearances. When he responded to Carroll in 2019, Trump used similar rhetoric, denying that the attack occurred and saying she was “not my type.”

Later that year, Carroll sued Trump for defamation. That case is still pending. The Justice Department has argued Trump was acting as the president while responding to Carroll’s allegations and said the United States, rather than Trump himself, should be the defendant. If the courts agree, it would probably torpedo Carroll’s claim because the government cannot be sued for defamation.

The issue remains unresolved. The D.C. Court of Appeals heard arguments on the case but essentially punted on the issue this month, sending it to another court.

Last year, Carroll filed a second lawsuit, this one accusing Trump of battery and defaming her again after he left office.

That lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is the one scheduled to go to trial on Tuesday. The suit was filed in November 2022 as a New York law known as the Adult Survivors Act took effect. That law allowed sexual assault victims to sue years later, which proponents said was necessary because it can take considerable time for survivors to feel ready to speak out.

In her lawsuit, Carroll highlighted a statement Trump posted on social media in October 2022 in which he dismissed her accusations as a “Hoax and a lie.”

“I don’t know this woman, have no idea who she is, other than it seems she got a picture of me many years ago, with her husband, shaking my hand on a reception line at a celebrity charity event,” the statement said. Later in the statement, Trump added: “And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!”

Trump was deposed in the case last year at Mar-a-Lago, his private Florida club and residence, and called Carroll “mentally sick.” During this examination, Trump mistook a photograph of Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples, according to excerpts of the deposition.

“That’s Marla, yeah,” he said during the deposition. “That’s my wife.”

His mistake was quickly corrected by one of his attorneys.

In her lawsuit, Carroll has asked for a court order directing “Trump to retract his defamatory statement,” along with unspecified damages.

Carroll’s attorneys plan to call two other women who previously accused Trump of sexual misconduct to testify. One of them says Trump groped and kissed her on a flight decades ago. Another says Trump pushed her against a wall and forcibly kissed her before a butler interrupted them.

Roberta A. Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, has said in court filings that her client does not need to call Trump to testify because they can play his deposition in court.

Joseph Tacopina, an attorney for Trump, suggested Friday he was confident in the former president’s defense and believed the jury would find no wrongdoing.

Writing to the judge, Tacopina said Trump “wishes to appear at trial” but wanted to avoid the “logistical and financial burdens” that would accompany such an appearance. He cited Trump’s recent arraignment in Manhattan to illustrate these issues.

Trump was charged this month in New York on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Those charges relate to $130,000 paid to an adult-film actress to keep her from speaking during the 2016 presidential election about her allegations of having an extramarital affair with Trump years before. On April 4, Trump appeared in court for his arraignment on the felony charges and pleaded not guilty.

His arraignment created a chaotic atmosphere around the court, with supporters, detractors and a swarm of journalists gathering nearby. The area was flooded with law enforcement officials, the courthouse closed at one point to the public so the Secret Service could sweep it, and a major roadway was shuttered.

If Trump appeared in federal court, Tacopina wrote, similar issues would arise.

Tacopina asked U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to tell jurors that Trump does not have to be present during the trial, make clear his absence is aimed at avoiding any “logistical burdens” and say that “his presence is excused unless and until he is called by either party to testify.”

Kaplan, who is not related to Carroll’s attorney, responded by saying there was nothing to excuse, writing that Trump has “no legal obligation to be present or to testify.” The judge also said Carroll has no plans to call him as a witness, adding: “The decision whether to attend or to testify is his alone to make.”

Carroll’s attorney noted in her own court filing that Trump recently made an appearance at a mixed-martial-arts event in Miami, spoke at a National Rifle Association gathering in Indianapolis and has scheduled a campaign function in New Hampshire on what would be the trial’s third day. The judge mentioned this last event in his written response to Tacopina.

“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,” the judge wrote.

Trump’s attorneys also tried to have the trial delayed by a month, echoing his long-standing practice of trying to postpone or drag out litigation. His attorneys said having this trial so soon after his indictment in Manhattan meant potential jurors “will have the criminal allegations top of mind” when weighing Trump’s defense in the Carroll case.

Kaplan, the judge, rejected the request, saying the jury selection process is likely to scrutinize “prospective jurors’ awareness, if any, of Mr. Trump’s various legal troubles – past, present and perhaps future – and jurors’ ability and willingness to render a fair and impartial verdict in this case.”

The judge has acknowledged the unusual and fraught nature of a case involving Trump. Before getting indicted in Manhattan, Trump called on his supporters to protest what he called his looming arrest, using language that echoed his rhetoric before his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

In March, shortly after Trump made this call for protests, Kaplan said jurors hearing Carroll’s case will be kept anonymous to avoid any potential harassment or media scrutiny.

“If jurors’ identities were disclosed, there would be a strong likelihood of unwanted media attention to the jurors, influence attempts, and/or of harassment or worse of jurors by supporters of Mr. Trump,” Kaplan wrote.

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