Anderson Cooper cuts to commercial after Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll calls rape ‘sexy’

Cooper had asked writer E. Jean Carroll, 75, if she felt like she was a victim. During a discussion of her allegations with the CNN host, Carroll maintained that there was nothing “sexual” about her alleged rape in the dressing room of a New York department store.

“I was not thrown on the ground and ravaged,” Carroll said, denying that she was a victim. “The word rape carries so many sexual connotations. This was not sexual. It just hurt.”

Chief Political Correspondent Byron York on the expanded Washington Examiner magazine
Carroll described the alleged event between Trump and her as a “fight” rather than “rape.” Cooper responded by saying that most people would likely think of rape as a violent assault, to which Carroll responded that she thinks most people find rape “sexy.”

She said: “I think most people think of rape as being sexy. They think of the fantasies.”

Clearly uncomfortable, Cooper swiftly cut in and said they would take a quick break.

Carroll’s interview with Cooper comes after she accused the president Friday of sexually assaulting her in either 1995 or 1996.

The accusation was published in New York Magazine as an early excerpt release of her book, coming out July 2, titled What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

Trump, 73, has denied the allegation on multiple occasions, saying on Monday that “she’s not my type.”

Carroll, who was Miss Cheerleader USA in 1964, claimed the incident took place in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room while she was about to try on lingerie. She said Trump pinned her against a wall, pulled down her tights and penetrated her with his penis.

Trump said in an interview: “Totally lying. I don’t know anything about her. I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”


Senators Seek to Break Sexual Assault Impasse on Education Bill

Senators Seek to Break Sexual Assault Impasse on Education Bill

  • Bipartisan group looks to balance accuser, accused rights
  • Congress, Education Department working separately

By Emily Wilkins | June 27, 2019 11:02AM ET | Bloomberg Government

A group of eight senators is working to tackle one of the most contentious issues in higher education—when and how colleges need to respond to allegations of sexual assault.

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) brought the group together in a quest to resolve potentially the biggest remaining obstacle to a bipartisan reauthorization of federal higher education programs.

“We’re all looking for the same thing: an environment that encourages reporting when there is a problem and a process that gets at the truth and is fair to the person bringing a claim and fair to he person who is accused,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the working group.

Murray and Alexander are members of the group, as well as Republicans Tim Scott (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), and Richard Burr (N.C.), and Democrats Kaine, Maggie Hassan (N.H.), and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.).


Education Department Will Review Anti-male Bias at University of North Carolina


Judge rips into University of Michigan for evasion, bad faith in accused student’s lawsuit

University’s lawyer doesn’t know what ‘cross-examination’ means


The University of Michigan does not have a good history with Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow.

That history got even worse on Monday.

The federal judge let loose a stream of invective against the university in an eight-page brief to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, citing its behavior in a due-process lawsuit by a student accused of sexual misconduct.

Tarnow accused UMich and its “ever-expanding” legal team – three law firms and its general counsel – of caring more about President Mark Schlissel’s image than “providing a fair process for adjudicating sexual misconduct claims.”

The university has been arguing with Tarnow for more than a month about his demand that Schlissel (feature image) appear at a settlement conference in the case. A transcript of a May 1 conference shows UMich lawyer Joshua Richards repeatedly relitigating the order, questioning Tarnow’s intelligence, and then asking the judge to dismiss himself from the case.

The 6th Circuit approved the university’s motion to stay Tarnow’s hearing last week, where Schlissel had been ordered to appear, and asked him for an explanation. Tarnow’s Monday brief blamed the university for bad-faith stalling tactics and needless publicity.

He also questioned the intelligence of Richards, the university’s lawyer, who “repeatedly claimed that he did not understand the meaning of the term ‘cross-examination’” at an April 25 teleconference.

“The Court hopes to hold this informal conference in open court” – a point of contention with UMich – “to quell the public’s confusion concerning the status of the case which has been generated by the University’s recent filings,” Tarnow told the 6th Circuit.

The Bill Clinton-appointed judge has twice ruled against UMich in the past year for withholding due process from parties accused of sexual misconduct, in this case and another brought by a female professor.

‘Delay, uncertainty, and additional billable hours’ for no reason

UMich has repeatedly insisted that Schlissel has better things to do than appear in Tarnow’s court, and that the president does not have “primary responsibility” for the Title IX policy.

It could not tell Tarnow which official actually has that authority, however, and the judge demanded Schlissel appear as the only person who can approve a final settlement proposal. Resolving this case “should be more important to [Schlissel] than almost anything going on at the university,” he said May 1.

Arthur J Tarnow.jpgIn his Monday brief, Tarnow (left) defended his prerogative over “case management” and his belief that the parties were “not working together” to institute a sexual misconduct policy that can pass legal muster.

He laid the blame squarely on the university, which failed to consult the accused student’s attorney before issuing a new sexual misconduct policy.

MOREStop arguing and turn over Schlissel, Tarnow says

The 6th Circuit’s Baum ruling last fall, which ordered universities to let an “agent” of the accused student cross-examine the accuser in a live hearing, “should have been helpful in formulating a hearing procedure acceptable to both parties” in this case, Tarnow wrote.

The revised UMich policy followed four months later, and its lawyers cited it “as a basis for declaring compliance with due process and for filing a motion to dismiss” the lawsuit:

The University’s unilateral actions virtually guarantee the possibility of an appeal of any ruling by the Court. The result? Delay, uncertainty, and additional billable hours for an ever-expanding defense team, with no added value to its client. … [UMich should have]—at a minimum—sought input from Plaintiff’s counsel before instituting a
policy which directly affects her client and the outcome of this case.

KC Johnson

Blistering filing just in from the court in @UMich due process case. Judge strongly implies Michigan lawyers not handling the issue in good faith: “The University’s unilateral actions virtually guarantee the possibility of an appeal of any ruling by the Court.”

View image on Twitter

KC Johnson


Judge Tarnow: UM lawyer “repeatedly claimed that he did not understand the meaning of the term ‘cross-examination.’” Judge blasts “insincere behavior” of univeriy counsel.

View image on Twitter
Schlissel should be here to see how his lawyer acts

Tarnow showed his irritation in footnotes. One identifies the three firms on retainer for UMich in this case and says its general counsel is “probably on a salary” yet didn’t make an appearance in the year-old suit until early June.

He also distinguished the behavior of the university’s many lawyers, who seek “a fair result to be achieved expeditiously,” from the university itself, though he singled out Richards for contempt.

The 6th Circuit had just remanded the case to Tarnow’s court when the parties met for a settlement conference, but Richards (right) used the occasion to make a “performance,” the judge said. This is where Richards confessed his confusion at the meaning of “cross-examination,” and apparently it caused Tarnow to swear at him.

The judge did not deny UMich’s accusation of the “expletive,” but said if he did swear, it was because of the “insincere behavior” of Richards. The reason the May 1 conference had a transcript was because of the “tenor” of the April 25 “off-the-record” meeting, he told the appeals court.

MOREUMich withholds degree, transcript with no hearing

Tarnow laid out his argument again for Schlissel’s appearance in court, including the president’s “ultimate authority” to resolve the case and UMich’s failure to even provide the title of another official with “full settlement authority.”

Schlissel has already violated the rules of Tarnow’s court by refusing to appear as the “client” in the lawsuit at the initial status conference, the judge said:

His attendance at the conference avoids the need to resort to the bureaucratic and lengthy settlement process inherent in university litigation. It is also important for the President to be aware of the demeanor of his legal representative.

He mocked the university’s argument that Tarnow plans to “cross-examine” Schlissel. He doesn’t have to say anything, the judge said: “As with any settlement conference, the talking will be left to the attorneys.”

KC Johnson

3 major revelations from today’s filing by Judge Tarnow in @UMich case:
1) univ lawyer claimed not to know definition of x-exam;
2) univ changed its TIX policies w/o consulting student’s lawyer in case;
3) Tarnow & univ lawyers seem to have tense rel’ship: 

KC Johnson


Judge Tarnow: Univ. of Michigan “attorneys appear to be more concerned with keeping the President out of the public eye than with prompt resolution of this case and providing a fair process for adjudicating sexual misconduct claims.” 

Conference should be public because of university’s bumbling

The university’s stated desire to protect the settlement talks from becoming a media circus is belied by its own actions, according to Tarnow.

The settlement conference with Schlissel was Tarnow’s attempt to protect everyone from “unnecessary publicity and delay,” yet “the University’s attorneys have refused to participate in good faith,” the judge wrote.

Richards’ refusal to provide the president unless Tarnow put it in a written order has resulted in publicity that “neither helped the University’s image nor contributed to the resolution of this case,” according to the judge. He noted a local legal publication ran an “ambiguous headline” that suggested Schlissel himself was wanted for sexual misconduct.

UMich attorneys look “more concerned with keeping the President out of the public eye” than designing a fairer sexual misconduct process, he said. Tarnow has “bent over backwards” to accommodate Schlissel’s schedule, to no avail.

MOREUMich’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the 6th Circuit

It’s true that Tarnow made a “last-minute decision” to hold the settlement conference in public, as opposed to the in-chambers private meeting he had previously suggested.

But the judge said the change was prompted by his desire for transparency and the university’s June 5 motion to dismiss, which “incited confusion amongst the media on whether it was an attempt by the University to avoid the conference.”

The university has “pursued every possible avenue for garnering publicity in this case,” including by using an “improper method” to get the 6th Circuit to intervene, Tarnow wrote. It wasted a month by seeking a “writ of mandamus,” giving the appeals court one day to consider the filing, rather than seeking “interlocutory appeal” of Tarnow’s May 8 order denying reconsideration.

UMich told the Detroit Free Press that Tarnow’s brief showed why the public university “is deeply concerned by the fairness of the proceeding in this case.”

Spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen cited Tarnow’s change of mind on the openness of the settlement conference “less than 48 hours before” as the reason for Schlissel’s backing out. He was “fully prepared” to attend a closed conference, she said, and Tarnow has not explained how an open conference would lead to a faster resolution “than a private discussion between the parties and the court.”

Judge: U-M is trying to protect president from public. Here’s why.

Federal court Judge Arthur Tarnow responds in court filing that U-M more concerned with protecting president than providing fair sexual assault claims process

MOREUMich violated professor’s right to cross-examine accusers


Texas Goverernor Signs Bill Making It Illegal to Hear Sex Jokes on Campus and Not Report It


Texas governor signs bill making sex jokes on campus a criminal offense

Get ready for ‘explosion of frivolous investigations into protected speech’


Greg Abbott issued broad protections for campus speech a week ago. A few days later, he rendered those new protections meaningless.

Ignoring warnings from a civil-liberties groupand yours truly, the Republican governor signed provisions into Texas law that use criminal law to enforce the Obama administration’s unconstitutional definition of campus sexual harassment.

Their practical effect will be scaring faculty and other university employees into reporting any “sex-based” conduct or speech that may be “unwelcome” to someone at their campus. That includes overheard sex jokes.

SB 212 threatens termination and up to six months in jail for any campus employee who “witnesses or receives information” – that means hearsay – that may count as sexual harassment under this exceedingly broad definition, and fails to report it to the Title IX apparatus.

Those staggering employment and criminal penalties practically ensure that Title IX offices will be flooded with sexual harassment reports, and that students will be subjected to wide-ranging administrative investigations for constitutionally protected speech.

Abbott signed both SB 212 and a related bill, HB 1735, that uses the same definition of sexual harassment and deprives accused students of basic due process. Texas law will conflict with U.S. Department of Education rules if proposed Title IX revisions remain substantially similar in the final published regulation.

MORETexas lawmakers approve unconstitutional campus speech restrictions

The purportedly conservative governor has been on notice for three years that broad definitions of sexual harassment are unconstitutional on their face.

In a 2016 op-ed in Abbott’s local newspaper, Executive Director Robert Shibley of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education noted that an anti-gun protest at the University of Texas counts as sexual harassment under the Obama administration’s Title IX guidance.

Why is that? Because students were waving around sex toys in the “Cocks Not Glocks” protest. It would be shocking if the display of silicone erections and sexually themed chanting were not “unwelcome” to someone on campus.

The new Texas laws now functionally incorporate the Obama administration guidance that the Trump administration’s Department of Education rescinded. The “unwelcome” standard – which has no objective component – was mandated by President Obama’s department in a “blueprint” agreement with the University of Montana in 2013, a move it repeated with the University of New Mexico in 2016.

The non-criminal provisions of the bills take effect in September, while the criminal portion takes effect in January, FIRE’s Tyler Coward writes in a blog post:

This means Texas’s students and faculty will be forced to navigate new, unconstitutional speech codes this academic year that will inevitably lead to an explosion of frivolous investigations into protected speech, self-censorship, and possibly even jail time for faculty members who run afoul of the new law.

Coward, who serves as legislative counsel for FIRE, predicted that the new Texas laws will be struck down in court, since similar speech restrictions “have fallen time, and time, and time again in Texas.”

But in the meantime, he encourages students and faculty to contact FIRE if the two laws result in “deprivation of their free speech or due process rights.”

MOREFree speech advocates alarmed by Obama’s campus harassment rules


Order of protection fails to prevent Fort Benning soldier’s murder; wife charged

Sgt. Brandyn Paonessa, 26, was killed Thursday in Phenix, Ala., and his wife was charged with the murder. Brittnay Ryals Paonessa, 27, was jailed on $150,000 bond.

He obtained the order of protection just three days prior to the shooting. His petition called her “very mentally ill” and “very unstable” and said she had refused treatment help from a rehabilitation center, WTVM reported.


Paonessa also accused his wife of stalking him, his family and friends, threatening his Army job and running a “truck into the house,” narrowly missing their children, an infant, a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old, the station reported.

Brittnay Ryals Paonessa and Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa

Brittnay Ryals Paonessa and Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa (Lee County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

A statement from Fort Benning expressed condolences to the sergeant’s family and friends, according to the station.

“Paonessa was assigned to Task Force 1-28, 3rd Infantry Division,” the statement said. He joined the Army in 2013 the same year he and Brittnay married.


Paonessa was shot in the stomach and the murder weapon, a shotgun, was recovered, the station reported. Deputies found him in the yard in front of his house.

Brandon Lloyd Paonessa and his wife Brittnay Ryals in happier times.

Brandon Lloyd Paonessa and his wife Brittnay Ryals in happier times. (Facebook)

The Birmingham News reported that court records show the couple had a history of marital discord.


He was arrested last year on a domestic violence charge after she accused him of punching her in the stomach, the paper reported. She said he assaulted her because she had looked through his cellphone but then declined to press charges, leading to the case’s dismissal.


Letter to AG William Barr Regarding Campus Due Process

United States Attorney General William Barr

950 Pennsylvania Ave NW,

Washington, DC 20530

Dear Attorney General Barr,

I am writing to you with a grave concern for our male college students. Universities across America have been denying young men their due process rights. There is a general bias against male students regarding Title IX and sexual harassment allegations. This bias is so strong and prevalent that universities have continued to wrongfully expel male students. It appears nothing is outside ethical boundaries, as universities have falsified evidence, denied due process and used their resources to punish students.

I am asking that the Department of Justice please look at the number of Court cases being brought by male students who have been wrongfully terminated since the Obama-era 2011 Dear Colleague letter was introduced. Even the police academy at Kent State University in Ohio falsified evidence to terminate me, a 55-year-old fully vetted volunteer Deputy with two-plus years of service and multiple awards.

Sadly, in the last five years, I have written several articles noting the damage to students and their families by the universities. I even traveled to Washington to lobby Congressional staff to make changes but with few results at the university level. The victim-centered investigations and kangaroo courts that universities utilize must stop.

I am advocating for a process to allow students, since the introduction of 2011 Dear Colleague Letter went into effect, to have their cases reviewed. This could be processed where these students submit their information and evidence for a task force to review.

Mr. Attorney General, just look at recent actions of high-level officials at the FBI and other governmental organizations against a presidential candidate and then a sitting president. If no one stands for the rule of law, then no one in America is safe.


Don Corsaro

Chardon, Ohio


Biased training for judges still a problem

Anyone familiar with the Scottsboro Boys or “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be familiar with the need for due process in sexual assault allegations. The often “he said/she said” nature of these cases make them especially susceptible to false allegations. Unfortunately, there is continuing pressure to reduce even basic due process protections and to prosecute unfounded cases.

In one recent Nebraska case, for example, prosecutors charged a man with sexual assault even though the accuser changed her story numerous times, destroyed evidence and made unsubstantiated allegations in two unrelated cases. The case was so weak a jury acquitted him in less than an hour.

In another recent Nebraska case, a man was prosecuted for sexual assault despite substantial uncertainty any assault had occurred and DNA evidence that showed there had been no sexual contact between the parties. He was also acquitted.

These are in addition to dozens of similar cases from elsewhere around the country. In addition, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against colleges and universities alleging they violated the due process rights of accused students.

Why is this happening? Biased training is partly to blame. Two years ago, a lawsuit forced our state judicial branch to disclose training materials used to train our judges. Once disclosed, those materials showed our judges were given false information that misrepresented applicable research and failed to disclose dozens of studies that contradicted the presenter’s personal political agenda.

One form of biased training is based on “trauma-informed” practices. According to a recent article, “assertions about how trauma physiologically impedes the ability to resist or coherently remember (sexual) assault have greatly undermined defense against assault allegations. But science offers little support for these claims.” These practices are so suspect that a federal court recently found “trauma-informed” practices in college sexual misconduct investigations were plausible evidence of unlawful gender bias.

Unfortunately, a new Nebraska statute authorizes new “restorative justice training” that specifically includes “trauma-informed practices.” Our state judicial branch has also sponsored numerous programs over the last several years that are based on “trauma-informed practices.”

In addition, prosecutors and police are being pressured to abandon objective investigation techniques and to instead “start by believing,” be “victim-centered” or “believe survivors.” One result is cases are increasingly being brought that have no corroborating evidence to support the accuser’s allegations, something that rarely happens in other cases. These practices are unsound from an investigatory perspective and constitutionally suspect because they encourage fact-finders to abandon the constitutional presumption of innocence.

What can be done? New unbiased training must be provided to stop the flow of misinformation to our judges, police and prosecutors and to correct the misinformation that has already been communicated. This training should reject discredited theories like “trauma-informed” and “start by believing,” and instead teach objective and constitutionally-sound practices. The content of all training should be available to the public to ensure it is unbiased.

Shawna Thompson is a director of Nebraskans for Equal Justice and a longtime advocate for children and sexual assault victims. She lives in North Platte.