July 13, 2019


When Does America Reckon with the Gravity of Donald Trump's Alleged Rapes?: In light of the new legal scrutiny of Jeffrey Epstein, it's time to re-examine all the sexual misconduct allegations against the president. (LAURA BASSETT, July 11, 2019, GQ)

In 2016, "Jane Doe" filed a lawsuit against Trump alleging a "savage sexual attack" in 1994, when she was 13 years old, in which he tied her to a bed at Epstein's house, raped her, and struck her in the face. The account was corroborated by a witness who claimed to have seen the child perform sexual acts on both Trump and Epstein.

Just as he has a patten of sexual predation, Trump also seems to have a pattern of threatening victims who come forward. Jane Doe alleged in the lawsuit that Trump told her she shouldn't ever say anything if she didn't want to "disappear like Maria," a 12-year-old girl who had also been abused along with her. Jane Doe dropped the lawsuit in November 2016, days before Trump's election, after her attorney, Lisa Bloom, cited "numerous threats" against her client. (Trump denied the allegations, and Bloom declined to comment for this story.)

Even if the Epstein proceedings fail to produce evidence against Trump, there is enough already in the public record--including words recorded out of his own mouth--to substantiate a shockingly prolific history of sexual misconduct. The first rape allegation against him was by his ex-wife Ivana, who in a deposition in the early 1990s described a violent assault by her husband in 1989 in which he pulled out fistfuls of her hair and jammed himself inside her. She clarified while he was running for president in 2015--and while under a gag order that prevents her from discussing her marriage with Trump without his approval--that the alleged rape was not in a "criminal sense." What she, likely coached by Trump's team, seemed to be implying is that a man has a right to sex with his wife, regardless of his level of violence or her protestations (all 50 states have laws against non-consensual sex, or rape, within a marriage).

Even though Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, claimed that "you cannot rape your spouse," he was so invested in squashing the story that he dramatically threatened a Daily Beast reporter who was writing about the incident that same year. "I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know," Cohen said. "So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

The allegations have piled up against Trump for almost 40 years now. Businesswoman Jessica Leeds told The New York Times that in the 1980s, he grabbed her breasts and reached up her skirt on an airplane without her consent. "He was like an octopus," she said. "His hands were everywhere."

In total, and not counting the young Jane Doe who rescinded her lawsuit, more than 20 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct so far, and many of them have produced witnesses and corroborators. Five have produced at least two witnesses. 

Posted by at July 13, 2019 6:35 PM