In spite of Donald Trump’s numerous last minute attempts at delaying it, the civil rape trial proceedings in the E. Jean Carroll vs Donald Trump case began today as scheduled. And according to multiple major news outlets, the jury has already been seated within just the first few hours of the proceedings. So we’re already off to the races.
Today’s developments serve as a good reminder of a few things. First, trial delay tactics are finite. Once you run out of them, and the judge decides that the trial is going to start within a certain timeframe, it’s going to happen. This will also apply to Trump’s upcoming criminal trials in Manhattan, Fulton County, and the DOJ. Trump cannot just magically delay his trials for as long as he pleases, until after the election.
Second, this quickly puts to rest the bizarre yet popular notion over the past year that it would supposedly be impossible to ever seat a jury in any case involving Donald Trump, due to strong political feelings on both sides. What we tend to forget is that there are a lot of people out there who don’t follow or care about politics, don’t have a political side, and can therefore serve as unbiased jurors. And the court system is actually really good at screening out any partisan folks who might try to sneak onto a Trump trial jury. The whole system is designed that way.
So now this trial will proceed in the same way that any civil trial would. E. Jean Carroll and her attorneys will put on their case and call their witnesses. Donald Trump is apparently not planning to attend, but his attorneys will put on a case for him. And then the jury will decide whether Trump is liable. This isn’t a criminal trial where he can be found “guilty.” But if the jury believes that Trump likely raped and/or defamed Carroll, then it will award Carroll damages accordingly. Those “damages” can include things like money, his DNA, and/or a forced apology. And if you’re disappointed that this isn’t a criminal trial and can’t send Trump to prison, remember that those will come later.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report