Politics Attorneys for Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll ask court to keep DOJ from defending case

07:15  17 april  2021
07:15  17 april  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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E . Jean Carroll has filed a defamation suit against President Trump , saying he lied when he denied her allegation that he had raped her in the early 1990s in a Manhattan department store.Credit Seth Wenig/Associated Press. But in early September, on Mr. Trump ’s deadline to appeal the judge’s ruling, the Justice Department suddenly intervened in the case , seeking to remove Mr. Trump as the defendant and move the suit out of state court to Federal District Court in Manhattan. A federal judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, will now decide whether the removal was appropriate and if the Federal Tort Claims

Justice Department lawyers and Carroll 's attorneys had been scheduled to present oral arguments to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York federal court , but about an hour before the appearance was expected to begin, Justice Department lawyer Stephen Terrell He also alleged Carroll had lied to boost her book sales. Carroll filed her case in New York state court , and after Trump challenged it, a trial court judge ruled in August that the lawsuit could proceed, paving the way for Carroll 's attorneys to move forward in their efforts to obtain a DNA sample from Trump and take his deposition under oath.

A federal appeals court should deny the Justice Department's attempt to substitute for former President Donald Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll, her attorneys said in a new court filing Friday night.

Instead, Carroll urged the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm "Trump did not act within the scope of his employment as President of the United States when he repeatedly, willfully defamed a private citizen to punish and retaliate against her after she revealed that he had sexually assaulted her decades before he took office."

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The Justice Department was set to defend its claim that it should be allowed to enter the case on Trump 's behalf in which Carroll accused the president of defaming her last year when denied the former magazine writer's claims that he had raped her in the dressing room of a New York City A New York state court has rejected Trump ’s claim of immunity from the private lawsuit. Carroll has been seeking a DNA sample as possible evidence and to have Trump deposed under oath. " Trump was soon going to be required to produce documents, provide a DNA sample, and sit for a deposition

MORE: President Trump trying to halt defamation lawsuit, E. Jean Carroll's attorney says

Carroll sued the former president for defamation after he accused her of playing politics and lying about an alleged 1990s rape in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.

Last October, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the Justice Department's bid to replace Trump as the defendant, ruling that his statements about Carroll were not made as part of his official duties and that the legal theory cited by the DOJ does not apply to the president.

a person wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: E. Jean Carroll arrives at court in New York, March 4, 2020. © Seth Wenig/AP, FILE E. Jean Carroll arrives at court in New York, March 4, 2020.

"Trump has tried and failed repeatedly to get my lawsuit booted," Carroll said in a statement Friday. "Last fall, he had his Justice Department intervene and try to get it dismissed in federal court. He lost. Then, just a week before President Biden’s inauguration, Trump’s private lawyers and the DOJ joined forces to argue on appeal that when Trump called me a liar who was too ugly to rape, he was somehow being presidential. This is offensive to me."

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Trump rape accuser E Jean Carroll speaks outside of court in New York City on defamation case .

Lawyers for Trump filed a motion asking a federal judge to “immediately stay all proceedings” because the Department of Justice is in the middle of fighting to defend him. The argument was that the United States of America should be the defendant in the case , because Trump made his comments while acting within the scope of his employment with the federal government. In October, Judge Kaplan refused to let the DOJ take over the case , rebuking the government for providing “no support for that theory,” which, he said, would mean that “virtually everything the president does is within the public

a person looking at the camera © Seth Wenig/AP, FILE

"I am confident that the Second Circuit will make it clear that no president, including Donald Trump, can get away scot free with maliciously defaming a woman he sexually assaulted," she added.

MORE: DOJ files appeal in E. Jean Carroll lawsuit against President Trump

Roberta Kaplan, Carroll's lawyer and no relation to the district judge, said, "As the district court properly recognized, while the facts in this case are unique, the legal principles are not. In this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law."

On appeal, the Justice Department insisted the former president was commenting on a matter of public concern when he addressed Carroll's accusation because it was "an issue potentially relevant to his ability to perform the duties of his office effectively."

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 28, 2021. © Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 28, 2021.

Carroll's attorneys warned that granting the appeal would "give succor to the view that our most powerful political leaders stand entirely above the law."

Carroll published a book excerpt in 2019 in which she wrote that Trump raped her in the 1990s. Almost immediately after publication of the excerpt, Trump -- who by then was president -- told the press that Carroll had made up the rape story and he never met her. Carroll sued him in New York State court.

At first, the former president defended the case as a private individual. He was represented by his personal lawyers, not by DOJ or other government lawyers. The state court rejected his claim he could not be sued because he was president. It was at that point that the U.S. government inserted itself into the case.

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