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Lawsuit for defamation of E. Jean Carroll: Justice Department wants to defend Trump



While the alleged sexual assault occurred long before Trump took office, the Justice Department argued that he needed to take control as Trump’s comments sparking the defamation lawsuit came during his tenure. The move – to defend Trump at the taxpayer’s expense – comes amid ongoing criticism that the Justice Department acted in the president’s personal interest.

Carroll, a counselor who wrote for Elle Magazine for years, alleged in a lawsuit filed last fall that Trump sexually assaulted her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in Manhattan in the 1990s. Trump has denied the claim, calling it “totally wrong” and saying he “never met this person in my life”
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The motion and a possible change of lawyer could delay the lawsuit further or even kill it entirely. If the Department of Justice is allowed to take power, it could mean the end of Carroll’s lawsuit as the federal government cannot be sued for defamation, noted CNN legal analyst and Professor Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas.

Trump’s rejection came while he was performing his official duties as president, the Justice Department said in court files on Tuesday.

Judge Rules E. Jean Carroll can still search Trump's DNA in the defamation suit

“President Trump was acting in his capacity as President of the United States at the time of the incidents that gave rise to the plaintiff’s allegation. Indeed, the President co-opted or answered questions from the press, such as those elected, in making the contested statements Officials in the above cases spoke to the press or made other public statements at the time of their contested acts, “the Justice Department’s court record said.

“The Westfall Act accordingly requires the United States to be replaced as defendant in this lawsuit,” the department added.

“Even in today’s world, that argument is shocking,” said Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, of the Justice Department’s logic.

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig called the move “a wild stretch of the DOJ”.

“I can’t see from afar how the DOJ can argue with a straight face that it is somehow within the official duties of the president to reject a claim that he committed sexual assault years before he took office,” Honey said.

The Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr are already under fire for measures that benefit Trump’s political standing.

“This is largely in line with Barr’s established pattern of falsifying facts and laws to protect Trump and his allies: the Mueller report, Ukraine, Stone, Flynn, the dismissal of the SDNY-US attorney, and more recently Time unsubstantiated claims about widespread post-in election fraud, “Honey said.

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A White House official said the Department of Justice’s move on Tuesday set a precedent under the Federal Tort Claims Act and the case belongs to a federal court with the United States as the defendant.

“The ministry’s approach is in keeping with the simple language and intent of the statute, which the courts have confirmed when elected officials, such as members of Congress, respond to press inquiries, including personal matters,” the official said.

A New York judge ruled last month that the lawsuit against Trump could continue.

Carroll also wants Trump to provide a DNA sample to compare it to male genetic material found on Donna Karan’s black dress that Carroll wore during the alleged encounter at Bergdorf.

“President Trump knows I was telling the truth when I said he sexually assaulted me in a locker room in Bergdorf Goodman. He also knows he lied when he said he had never met me before and that it wasn’t me. ” his type, “Carroll said in a statement.

“Actions today show that Trump will do everything in his power, including using the full powers of the federal government to prevent the discovery in my case ahead of the upcoming elections, to prevent a jury from ever deciding who of lies to us. “She said.

This story has been updated with comments from a White House official.


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