MSNBC Legal Analyst: It's a 'Disservice' to Cross-Examine Trump Rape Accuser

April 30th, 2023 8:10 AM

E. Jean Carroll Glenn Kirschner MSNBC The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart 4-29-23 This is what passes for an MSNBC legal "analyst." On Jonathan Capehart's Saturday morning show, MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said that cross-examining people who claim to be sexual assault victims, such as Trump accuser E. Jean Caroll, is a "disservice."

Kirschner grudgingly acknowledged that the Sixth Amendment—that inconvenient thing!—gives defendants the right to confront and cross-examine their accusers.  But Kirschner said that as a former prosecutor, it was "heartbreaking" for him to see sexual assault victims "falsely accused of making stories up." 

But how is a jury supposed to decide who is being "falsely accused"—the accuser or the person being accused—unless the accuser is subjected to cross-examination? And who made Kirschner the arbiter of who is telling the truth and who is "making stories up?" 

The real "disservice" would be to justice—if Kirschner's notion were ever adopted, and sexual assault accusers were simply taken at their word.

For that matter, what if Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of having sexually assaulted her, decided to bring suit? Think Kirschner would go on television to bemoan the right of Biden's lawyers to cross-examine her? Rhetorical question.

Kirschner would have made the perfect Alice In Wonderland legal analyst: sentence first, verdict later. Off with Trump's head!

MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner saying that it is a "disservice" to cross-examine people alleging sexual assaults, such as the woman accusing Donald Trump, was sponsored in part by Verizon, Progressive, Wayfair, Amazon, and Flonase.  

Here's the transcript.

The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart
9:19 am EDT

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Let's turn our attention to Manhattan. E. Jean Carroll gave emotional testimony this week, and faced tough cross-examination by Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, who repeatedly pressed her on why she didn't fight back or scream. And she replied, finally, quote, I'm telling you, he raped me, whether I screamed or not. Will that defense strategy backfire on the jury, with the jury?

GLENN KIRSCHNER: I, I can't imagine it's resonating with the jurors. Nobody can accuse Joe Tacopina of having a light touch with an alleged sexual assault victim.

I was a prosecutor for 30 years. I tried rape cases, sexual assault cases, I worked with victims of crime.

And it's heartbreaking, quite frankly, to see people who have actually been sexually assaulted in a public form, in, in a public trial with lots of people watching. They are falsely accused of making these stories up. 

I understand the defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross examine his accuser. But, boy, it just feels like we just do a disservice to sexual assault victims.