New York, NY – A federal judge denied a Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to step into E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit on Trump’s behalf. So, the DOJ can now not protect Trump in the E. Jean Carroll rape defamation lawsuit. Carroll accused Donald Trump of raping her in a department store in the ’90s. She alleges that last year, he defamed her while denying this attack — branding her a liar.
Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan ruled that Trump was not acting in his official capacity when he denied Carroll’s accusations. In his ruling, the judge wrote, “[Trump’s] 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.”
Today’s ruling means that Carroll’s lawsuit can move forward with Trump as a personal defendant in the case. Last month, the DOJ intervened for Trump asking for the case to be transferred to the Federal Court from the New York State Supreme Court.
In an email to the Current Affairs Times, DOJ’s spokeswoman, Keri Kupec, reiterated the agency’s earlier statement saying “ the president is considered an acting federal employee and Trump responded to the allegations from the press while at the White House.” Nonetheless, Trump might have overstepped his boundaries when he spoke about Carroll during a press conference.
In the past, the DOJ has protected members of Congress under scrutiny but the agency has never used legislation to grant immunity to a president. Will there be an appeal? More to come as this story unfolds.
Thumbnail Credits: Seth Wenig/Associated Press