Donald Trump defamation trial: E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers seek to corroborate her rape claim

Former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, right, leaves federal court with her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, earlier this week.

WASHINGTON – E. Jean Carroll’s legal team sought Tuesday to corroborate her claim that Donald Trump raped her in 1996, utilizing two key witnesses: a friend who said Carroll discussed the incident shortly after it happened and another woman who said Trump physically assaulted her as well.

Witnesses friendly to Carroll dominated the fifth day of trial in the defamation lawsuit she filed against Trump, claiming he lied about the attack and impugned her character in the process.

Trump attorney Joseph Tacopina also confirmed to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan that his client will not testify in the trial that could end next week.

A friend of Carroll

The day began with testimony from Lisa Birnbach, a fellow writer whom Carroll told about the attack just minutes after it happened at a New York City department store.

“He raped you,” Birnbach said she told Carroll at the time.

On cross-examination, Trump attorney W. Perry Brandt cited Birnbach’s past criticism of the former president, suggesting that her story and Carroll’s are politically motivated.

‘I’m here because Donald Trump raped me’: E. Jean Carroll testifies; Trump attacks

Rape accuser E. Jean Carroll is cross-examined by Donald Trump’s lawyer in day three of trial

Another alleged attack

The jury also heard from Jessica Leeds, a woman who said Trump groped her during an airplane flight from Texas to New York in 1979.

Saying the attack “was like out of the blue,” Leeds testified that “it was like he had 40 zillion hands. It was like a tussling match between the two of us.”

Trump has frequently denied the allegations made by Leeds and Carroll.

Other witnesses

Carroll’s attorneys also called Leslie Lebowitz, a psychological expert, to discuss Carroll’s emotional state.

Robert Salerno, a former executive with Bergdorf Goodman, testified that he does not think there were surveillance cameras on the floor of the store where Carroll said the attack took place.

Trump did not appear (again)

Trump is not expected to testify at the trial, and he was not even in the country on Tuesday.

The former president is on a trip to Scotland and Ireland to inspect golf courses.

The plaintiff’s case

Carroll’s attorneys plan to call more corroborating witnesses in the days ahead.

They informed the judge that they plan to conclude their case mid-day Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report