The Justice Department on Tuesday made the unprecedented decision to take on the president’s defense in a defamation trial, a columnist who last year accused Mr. Trump of sexually assaulting her over two decades ago. Carroll is suing Mr. Trump in his personal capacity and was previously represented by private attorneys.
The Justice Department’s sudden intervention comes a month after a judge denied a stay motion, which meant Mr Trump may have to produce documents andand sit for deposits in the run-up to the November election.
Right now, the case is being removed from the New York State Supreme Court and relocated to the southern borough of New York where a federal judge will decide whether the DOJ can intervene on Mr Trump̵
In a statement posted on Carroll’s Twitter account, her attorney Roberta Kaplan said: “Trump’s efforts to use the US government to evade responsibility for his personal misconduct are unprecedented and show even more clearly how far he is ready to go. ” prevent the truth from coming out. “
The government justified its decision to involve the DOJ by claiming that the president is protected by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), a law that essentially protects federal employees from civil litigation for being “in the line of his office or office was “employment at the time of the incident from which the claim arose. “
“The lawsuit alleges defamation based on a written statement to the press and two statements by the president in interviews in June 2019 in which the president vehemently denied the allegations made in the plaintiff’s then-upcoming book,” it said DOJ in a court record. “The President stated that these allegations were false and that the incident she alleged never happened.”
Kaplan called the government’s position “shocking”.
A senior administration official told CBS News that the Justice Department’s decision was in line with FTCA precedent as the president was a federal employee at the time of his statements denying Carroll’s allegations.
In June 2019, Carroll claimed Mr Trump sexually assaulted her in the Bergdorf Goodman locker room in late 1995 or early 1996.
Mr. Trumpon several occasions as noted in their complaint. “I have no idea who she is. What she did is – it’s horrible what’s going on. So it’s a totally false accusation and I don’t know anything about her. And she’s brought these charges against others,” said he on June 22, 2019. “And, you know, people have to be careful because they are playing with very dangerous territory. And when they do – and it keeps happening.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman said she was considering a request for comment from CBS.