Wednesday 28 October 2020

Federal Judge Allows Defamation Case Against Trump to Proceed


Illustration for article titled Federal Judge Allows Defamation Case Against Trump to Proceed
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Do you know why the Department of Justice was trying to get a defamation lawsuit against President Trump by magazine columnist, E. Jean Carroll, who claimed that the president raped her in a department store dressing room, thrown out?

Well, a federal judge didn’t know why either and on Tuesday, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan kindly asked the DOJ to mind their fucking business as they don’t have anything to do with this and aren’t the president’s personal law firm. OK, fine; they didn’t say all of that but Lewis did give the DOJ the infamous Nick Young face after seeing that the DOJ wanted to “to intervene in the case and substitute itself as defendant in the lawsuit,” CNN reports.

CNN notes that had the judge allowed for the DOJ to substitute themselves for Trump it would’ve effectively ended the lawsuit since the federal government can’t be sued for defamation.

Well, that shit didn’t work, and things will continue moving forward. Carroll claimed in her 2019 book that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Trump’s lame defense against the allegations? He told reporters that Carroll “is not my type,” CNN reports.

From CNN:

In a 61-page opinion, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump “is not an ‘employee of the Government,’ as Congress defined that term,” and therefore the lawsuit isn’t, as the Justice Department argued, against the United States.

That conclusion allows for Trump to be sued personally for defamation in the matter. The Justice Department, which hasn’t indicated whether it will appeal the ruling, declined to comment.

The Carroll case is one of a litany of legal threats posed to Trump, many of which are likely to escalate if he loses the presidential election next week.

In his opinion, Kaplan also rejected the Justice Department’s argument that Trump’s statements regarding Carroll were made within the scope of his employment, writing, “while commenting on the operation of government is part of the regular business of the United States, commenting on sexual assault allegations unrelated to the operation of government is not.”

The department had argued in court filings that Trump acted in his official capacity when denying Carroll’s allegations, writing that “the President addressed matters relating to his fitness for office as part of an official White House response to press inquiries.”

Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said Tuesday: “The simple truth is that President Trump defamed our client because she was brave enough to reveal that he had sexually assaulted her, and that brutal, personal attack cannot be attributed to the Office of the President.”

Now that the case has been allowed to proceed, Trump will have to provide a DNA sample and give a deposition under oath.

“When I spoke out about what Donald Trump did to me in a department store dressing room, I was speaking out against an individual,” Carroll told CNN. “When Donald Trump called me a liar and denied that he had ever met me, he was not speaking on behalf of the United States.”

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