Federal Judge Rejected DOJ Defense Of Trump Against E.Jean Carroll Rape Case
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Justice Dept. Blocked in Bid to Shield Trump From Rape Defamation Suit The Justice Department tried to intervene to represent President Trump against the lawsuit by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who claims he lied when he denied raping her. E. Jean Carroll said the president raped her in a department store nearly two decades ago. Credit… Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times: A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that President Trump can be personally sued for defamation in connection with his denial while in office of a decades-old rape allegation. The judge, Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan, rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to step into the case and defend the president, and his ruling means that, for the moment, a lawsuit by the writer E. Jean Carroll can move forward against Mr. Trump, in his capacity as a private citizen. Ms. Carroll has accused Mr. Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Her lawsuit claims he harmed her reputation when he denied the attack last year and branded her a liar. Last month, the Justice Department abruptly intervened on Mr. Trump’s behalf in the suit, which had been filed in state court in New York, citing a law designed to protect federal employees against litigation stemming from the performance of their duties. Under that law, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the department sought to move Ms. Carroll’s suit to federal court and to substitute the United States for Mr. Trump as the defendant — a move that would have likely led to the dismissal of the charges. While the Justice Department has used the law to shield members of Congress from being sued for defamation over things they have said, the department has rarely, if ever, used it to grant immunity to a president. Judge Kaplan, however, ruled against the department’s maneuver, saying Mr. Trump was not acting in his official capacity when he denied the accusation. “His comments concerned an alleged sexual assault that took place several decades before he took office, and the allegations have no relationship to the official business of the United States,” the judge wrote, in the video “Justice Dept. Blocked in Bid to Shield Trump From Rape Defamation Suit“, below:
A woman who says President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s arrived to court to hear lawyers argue whether Trump can substitute the United States for himself as the defendant in her defamation lawsuit. But seconds after E. Jean Carroll walked into the Manhattan federal courthouse Wednesday, a Justice Department lawyer told the judge that the government’s lawyer was denied access to the courthouse because he came from Virginia, which had been added to states requiring quarantine. The government requested a postponement of the hearing. Lawyers were planning to argue over whether Trump can claim he was acting in an official capacity when making statements denying the encounter with Carroll in a luxury department store dressing room. Carroll sued last year, saying defamatory attacks by Trump include assertions that Carroll had falsely accused other men of rape, that she lied about him to advance a secret political conspiracy and sell books and that he had never met her — even though they’d been photographed together. Her lawyers noted Trump also had said: “She’s not my type.” Carroll was a 52-year-old media figure hosting an advice show when she says the encounter with Trump occurred sometime between the fall of 1995 and spring of 1996. The lawsuit said they ended up together in a dressing room after teasing each other to try on a see-through lilac gray bodysuit. Once there, Trump closed the door, pushed her against a wall, bumped her head twice against a wall and pulled down her tights before raping her, the lawsuit said. Carroll said in a lawsuit originally filed in Manhattan state court that she remained silent during the 2016 presidential campaign in part because her mother, a respected Republican official in Indiana, was dying at the time and she didn’t want to add to her pain. She said the emergence of the #MeToo movement in late 2017 prompted her to go public with her own story as she advised other women in her advice column to be brave and to seek justice when they asked her how to respond to sexual assault and abuse, in the video “Trump rape accuser in court“, below:
Early in September of 2020, the Justice Department has moved to intervene in a defamation lawsuit against President Trump. In 2019, columnist E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her years ago, and later claimed his denunciations amounted to defamation. William Brangham talks to David Laufman, a former DOJ official under multiple administrations, about what he calls an “inappropriate” intervention by the attorney general, in the video “Barr’s ‘shocking’ request for DOJ to defend Trump in defamation lawsuit“, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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