Trump lawyer Tacopina fell 'into a trap' during E. Jean Carroll cross-examination: legal expert
Members of former U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team, including (L-R) Susan Necheles, Todd Blanche and Joe Tacopina depart Trump Tower en route to a court appearance on April 04, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Appearing on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show" on Saturday morning, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance claimed that the E. Jean Carroll rape and defamation trial is not going well for Donald Trump and that his attorney, Joe Tacopina is not helping matters.

Speaking with the host, Vance said that the former president's attorney stepped into a familiar "trap" when questioning a sexual assault victim and it likely did not play well with the jury.

Asked by host Phang where the case is headed, Vance explained, "Well, the problem that defense lawyers have on cross-examination in a case like this, Katie, is that even though it's not a criminal rape prosecution, the civil case nears the same sorts of issues."

"The defense lawyer has to do two things: he's got to make the victim's story not credible in the eyes of the jury and there is got to be some effort to diminish the victim's credibility," she continued. "Frankly, from what we've been able to see, of course, there are no cameras in the courtroom, but we're reading the printouts of what's going on."

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"He doesn't really seem to touch Carroll," she suggested. "She's a very determined, a very fierce witness. Her story is consistent, and there is no real inroads he makes there."

"He falls into this other trap that the defense lawyers have to be wary of in a sexual assault case," she added. "By going on the attack against Carroll he runs the risk of making her credibility stronger, of putting the jury on her side and willing to listen to her testimony. That looks to be how the trial is going at this moment."

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