Human Rights

Trump Expected to Take a ‘Serious Hit’ This Week That Could Destroy His Presidential Aspirations

Donald Trump probably won’t appear at writer E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against him, which is set to begin this week. Even though this is the trial that could destroy his presidential hopes. His reputation has already taken a serious hit. He’s the only U.S. president to be twice impeached and criminally indicted and a New York jury will soon deliberate on whether he deserves another title: Rapist.

Each of these titles will be forever linked to his name. Donald Trump, the twice impeached president. Donald Trump, the criminally indicted president. Donald Trump, the (alleged) rapist president.

Incredible, isn’t it?

Carroll, an author and former advice columnist for Elle Magazine, will have her day in court, almost 30 years after, she alleges, Trump pinned her against the dressing room wall of a New York department store and sexually assaulted her, The Guardian reports.

A recently enacted New York law has given Carroll the chance to sue the former president for damages. The law opens up a one-year window for adult victims of sexual assault to file civil cases after the statute of limitations has expired.

The trial coincides with the criminal fraud charges Trump faces stemming from the hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, as well as the looming possibility of federal and state prosecutions hanging over his head due to efforts to fix the 2020 election and the hoarding of classified documents.

And none of this comes as any surprise to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, and she also reminds us that Carroll’s case stands out even as all his legal problems loom because for many women it revives unpleasant memories of some of his worst behavior as he runs for president again.

“One of the things that happened because of Trump’s election in 2016 was this collective outrage from women across the country for a whole host of reasons, but in many ways encapsulated by that video of him talking about grabbing women by their genitalia. There was this moment for many women (myself included) who thought it would not be possible for someone caught saying that to ever become president of the United States. And then he was,” Walsh said.

I remember being tearful on Election Night 2016 for this reason.

“This case brings all that up and in some ways adds to that outrage that women feel about him. He has been accused of this kind of behavior so many times and he’s never been held accountable. This time it seems like he may in fact be held accountable.”

Walsh also noted:

“College-educated white women who are Republicans have pulled away from the party. In the past, the party sort of trumped everything. In a way, that’s what happened in 2016. But after watching Trump be the president, it became harder and harder for those women to continue to pull the lever for Donald Trump. These women who used to be pretty solid Republican women voters couldn’t go there. I think these women would have a very hard time if he is the nominee again.”

Undoubtedly for these women, Carroll’s testimony will be that much more compelling.

Carroll alleges Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, a New York department store in late 1995 or early 1996. She said Trump recognized her as she was shopping and asked her for help in choosing a present for a woman who isn’t named in the lawsuit.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Carroll said she thought it was “just charming” that Trump wanted her advice on buying a president. But then he led her to the lingerie department.

“He had grabbed up from the counter a little see-through bodysuit and told me to go try it on,” Carroll said. “And that’s where I got into trouble, because we went into the dressing room and he closed the door and that was it.”

She alleges he pushed her against a wall and kissed her — forcibly — until she pushed him away.

“Then he pressed her against the wall once more, pulled down her tights, and forcibly raped her for several minutes until she managed to push him off and fled the store,” per the lawsuit.

In the following days, Carroll told two women friends about the assault. The friends, Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin have since corroborated her account.

Carroll did not file a report with the police because she “was in shock and did not wish to think of herself as a rape victim.”

“The two friends in whom she confided gave her conflicting advice about reporting the event,” the complaint purported. “Ultimately, she was persuaded by the advice of the friend who advised her to keep quiet. That friend stressed that Mr. Trump was powerful and would ‘bury’ Ms. Carroll if she came forward.”

But when Trump was elected president and when accusations came out against film producer Harvey Weinstein that spurred the #MeToo movement, Carroll decided to take action. It led her to write the book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal. The book detailed numerous accounts of men abusing women and excerpts from the book were published in New York Magazine.

At the trial, Carroll and the two friends who corroborated her story will that she sought their advice immediately after the alleged assault will be testifying, and Walsh said she believes this could be particularly dangerous to Trump’s reputation because Carroll will likely be a highly credible witness.

“It’s not that you hear this story from her, and you go, ‘Oh, that couldn’t be,” she said. “That’s not him. It fits a pattern with him.”

Others, like Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics say that the damage Trump will feel if the jury rules against him may not be immediate, but it should ultimately kill his presidential hopes, Raw Story reports.

“It will not affect his base that is powering him potentially to another nomination. They don’t care. Not only will this not hurt him, it’s going to reinforce the image that his core supporters have that he is being persecuted. So, for the nomination, it could even be a plus, I’m sorry to say,” he explained but then added, “But it’ll hurt him in a general election. Carroll is very believable and it should have some effect on Americans who are not in the Maga base.”

I hope it does hurt him. He’s hurt so many other innocent people and that will only continue if he becomes president again. I’m fairly confident he won’t be, but at the same time, I’m not holding my breath.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at and Facebook at


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