The legal battle between E. Jean Carroll and former President Donald Trump has been ongoing since 2019, when Carroll sued Trump for defamation due to statements he made about her while publicly denouncing her sexual assault allegations against him.
Trump is being sued by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll for denying that he raped her in a department store changing room in the 1990s. The Biden administration’s decision to continue supporting this case does not bode well for Carroll. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from civil lawsuits.
The judge rejected the argument that the president was acting in his official capacity when he denied E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations. Had the Department of Justice taken over the President's defense, it would likely have spelled the end of the case.
“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 substitution would not only help Trump financially–his defense, including any settlement or damages payout, would be funded using taxpayer money–but would also likely spell the end of the lawsuit. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from lawsuits.
In her ruling, Justice Doris Ling-Cohan said that the president failed to submit any evidence in support of his request to dismiss Carroll's defamation lawsuit, writing “There is not even a tweet, much less an affidavit by defendant Trump in support of his motion."
The lawyers argued in a motion on Friday that the suit cannot go forward because the statements were made in Washington and the case was filed in New York.
“Decades ago, the now president of the United States raped me," said Carroll in a statement. "While I can no longer hold Donald Trump accountable for assaulting me more than 20 years ago, I can hold him accountable for lying about it and I fully intend to do so."