E. Jean Carroll’s Lawyers Push Back on DOJ’s Efforts to Intervene in Trump Suit

E. Jean Carroll
E. Jean Carroll is seen in an undated photo released on June 25, 2019 Courtesy E. Jean Carroll/Handout via REUTERS

E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers are asking the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to deny the Department of Justice’s request to take over Donald Trump’s defense in a defamation lawsuit. 

See previous story: DOJ Looks to Take Over Trump’s Defense in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Lawsuit

“There is not a single person in the United States—not the President and not anyone else—whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” Roberta Kaplan wrote in response to the Department of Justice’s motion. “That should not be a controversial proposition. Remarkably, however, the Justice Department seeks to prove it wrong.” 

The former Elle columnist sued Donald Trump in his private capacity after he denied sexually assaulting her, and claimed that she had fabricated the incident to sell copies of her new memoir. 

In early September, the Department of Justice filed a motion to take over Trump’s defense. The memo argued that the federal government should replace the president’s private counsel because Trump was acting in his official capacity when he denied Carrol’s accusations. 

In an opposition memo filed on October 5th, Kaplan argued that the president’s actions were clearly personally motivated and fell outside the scope of his employment. “It is inconceivable that Trump aimed to do his job as President by implying that Carroll is too unattractive for him to sexually assault her,” the memo said.

If the federal court accepts the DOJ’s request, Carroll will likely lose her case, as federal officials are typically given broad protections from lawsuits. 

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