US makes last-ditch bid to derail Donald Trump rape accuser case
The US government on Wednesday put forth a last-ditch attempt to derail a defamation lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump by a New York advice columnist who claims he raped her two decades go.
The Justice Department is fighting to replace Trump as the defendant in the suit brought by E. Jean Carroll, who went public last year with her claim and sued Trump after he called her a politically motivated liar.
US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan last month rejected the Justice Department’s argument that Trump’s statements were made as part of his presidential duties. On Wednesday, the Justice Department filed a notice that it’s appealing the decision.
Had Kaplan allowed the substitution, the case would have been dismissed because the government can’t be sued for defamation.
It’s unclear what President-elect Joe Biden’s Justice Department and a presumably very different attorney general will do with the legal action when his new administration gets underway in January.
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, said in a statement that she’s confident the US Court of Appeals in New York will uphold the decision so the case can move quickly to the exchange of evidence. The attorney has been pushing to depose Trump under oath and force him to submit a DNA sample to compare to a sample from the dress Carroll says she wore on the day of the attack.
“From the very start of this case, Donald Trump’s number one goal has been to avoid discovery and cause delay,” Kaplan said. “It remains to be seen whether the new attorney general will agree that Trump was acting within the scope of his employment as President when he defamed our client.“
In the lower court ruling, Kaplan held that Trump isn’t a federal “employee” under a law that allows the U.S. to replace government workers as defendants when they’re sued over actions taken as part of their job. The “undisputed facts” of the case show Trump’s comment about Carroll can’t be considered part of his presidential duties, the judge wrote.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- UK is the first country in Europe where more than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus.
- Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration.
- The first crew will spend eight days at the space station, and will take one or two days to get there aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule following liftoff from Cape Canaveral. Each of these first paying customers intends to perform science research in orbit.
- The Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that screeners found 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags in 2020, or about 10 for every million travelers. About 83% of the guns were loaded.
- The Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, which kicks off Tuesday, said it’s building a list of former officials and aides who were involved in what the group says were the Trump administration’s most controversial actions.
- "Since (Biden's) administration claims not to be anti-science like the previous one ..., one expects it to free the transfer of Iran's own foreign exchange resources to fight the coronavirus and for health and food, and lift banking sanctions quickly," said government spokesman Ali Rabiei.