Right now E. Jean Carroll is on the stand in her civil rape trial against Donald Trump, being cross examined by Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina. Yes, it’s the same Joe Tacopina who keeps going on TV and saying stupid things about Trump’s Manhattan criminal case.
Since Trump apparently isn’t testifying in his own defense at this trial, Tacopina pretty much has to try to find a way to break Carroll during this cross examination. Otherwise Carroll is likely to win on the simple grounds that she showed up to defend her position and Trump didn’t.
But so far, Tacopina doesn’t seem to be making much headway. Various reporters in the courtroom are live tweeting the back and forth, and much of Tacopina’s questions are aimed at portraying Carroll as merely wanting political vengeance against Trump. It doesn’t look like that’s sticking.
Meanwhile Tacopina is getting a bit lost. At one point he asked a question so confusing that the judge stepped in and said “I would hope, Mr. Tacopina, you phrase your questions better so we don’t have to keep doing this.”
This comes after this same judge informed Tacopina yesterday that if his client Donald Trump kept making inappropriate social media posts about the trial, the judge would drop the hammer on Trump. Since that time, Trump has refrained from any such posts. We’ll see how long that lasts. In the meantime, it appears the judge is already sick of Trump and Tacopina. Remember, this isn’t the movies. In the real world, pissing off the judge is not a winning strategy. It’s just a good way to increase your odds of losing the trial.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report