Options Fall Away as Trump Faces Wednesday Deposition Date in Defamation Lawsuit

Trump is scheduled for the “deposition from Hell” (as termed by former Deputy A.G. Harry Littman) this coming Wednesday in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case against Trump, saying he didn’t rape her. Trump is a notorious liar who flails about wildly under a controlled examination. Any deposition is dangerous territory for Trump now, with so much of his life under a microscope, one involving a rape accusation with possible DNA evidence is about as bad as it gets, short of being arrested. Trump could and should do anything to avoid this deposition. But it is scheduled for Wednesday, and Littman sees Trump’s options slowly falling away:

According to Littman’s Twitter Posts:

“He could ask the Court for another delay, but pretty clear judge would say no. He could not show but pretty clear judge would hold him in contempt and even issue a warrant for his arrest.”

Neither of those options is going anywhere. We can probably rule out both possibilities.

“He could show up and a) admit the rape after scores of public denials. That would be tantamount to a confession that he defamed her; b) insist he never did, setting up a he said she said credibility dispute before a New York jury that he’d likely lose; c) take the 5th but that would be admissible against him in the defamation suit, which is civil (absent some unusual New York doctrine I’m unaware of), or d) say he doesn’t recall, which would represent a distinct retreat from his public stance.”

If Trump shows up, he runs the risk of having to say it never happened. He isn’t going to admit to rape. We all know that. And if he takes the 5th, his political career is likely over. The hardest core MAGAs will stay as Trump tells a tale about how he was trapped or something. But if Trump shows up, he will almost surely let the “he said, she said” thing ride. It will be incredibly dangerous for Trump because even if he’s telling the truth in denying the rape, he can lie about all kinds of other things to get himself into trouble, including allegations made by other women.

Saying he “doesn’t remember” is almost as bad as taking the Fifth because he’s been vociferous – putting it with extreme understatement, that he didn’t do it, she’s not his type, and on and on. If someone claimed rape, a man doesn’t “forget” what happened. He can’t even say it was consensual due to his past statements. Trump has a serious problem.

“Finally, he could try to appeal, but he would need to show irreparable injury from the mere fact of having to show up and tell the truth, and after taking extensive discovery of her case. The resultant delay would likely be brief. Not a very good set of choices. Most likely outcome: appeal. Second most likely: I don’t recall. Third: take the 5th.”

Littman doesn’t list “settle the case between now and Wednesday” in the choices, but Trump should strongly consider it. Perhaps Carroll isn’t interested in a settlement and sued specifically to be heard and to hold Trump accountable. So there’s a chance he could offer $100 million, and she turns it down. But Trump should make an effort. There is so much happening in Trump’s world right now, so much swirling trouble that most of his supporters would likely immediately forget that he settled the case. To the extent Trump has to explain it, he can say something about no longer trusting any New York or DC jury or something implying “the system” will get him no matter what.

He will almost certainly try to appeal, but it would be an interlocutory appeal (mid-case), and one usually has to make a motion to the appellate court even to allow it, and thus, that motion can be turned around within weeks. Still, Trump does not want to face this deposition. He’ll try appealing something.

But in the end, Trump will likely either settle or go into the room and try to explain why Carroll is lying and that it never happened. It is very dangerous ground for a notorious liar already under several investigations. The only thing worse than the deposition would be a trial… which isn’t far down the road, either.