The Biden DOJ finds itself in the strange, and very likely uncomfortable position of being forced to defend former President Trump.
The case goes back to 2019 when writer E. Carroll sued President Trump for defamation after he denied her accusation that he had raped her in a dept. store in the 90s, saying she was “completely lying.”
The DOJ’s argument in their brief filed this week with the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court is that Trump was inside his scope when he responded to the allegations, and so he is protected by federal law from the lawsuit.
“When people within the White House media asked then-President Donald Trump to reply to Carroll’s allegations, their questions were asked to him as President,” Brian Boynton, the leader of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in the document.
“Likewise, when Trump replied to these questions with denials of wrongdoing made through the White House press office or in his statements to journalists, he was acting within the scope of President.”
The brief stressed that politicians are forced to defend themselves from accusations of wrongdoing due to these issues touching on their ability to keep office.
“Officials do not go outside their bounds just because they are replying to questions about allegations on their personal lives,” Boynton wrote.
Earlier in the document, Boynton stressed the point in clear fashion.
“Talking to the public and the press on issues of public concern is a part of an elected representative’s job,” he said. “Courts have repeatedly found that supposedly defamatory comments made in this context are inside the scope of officials’ jobs–including statements in reply to reporter questions about their personal lives.”
The brief was appealing the October ruling by a District Court Judge for the Southern District of NY that refused Donald Trump’s argument that due to him acting as president when he made the remarks about Carroll, her suit should be against the government of the United States, not Trump.
The DOJ filed its appeal while Trump was in office. The brief which was filed earlier this week was the first from the Biden White House.
Carroll accused Trump of rape in her book “What Do We Need Men For?,” and spoke about it in many media appearances.
Trump denied her accusation, saying she made it up to promote her book.
“First, she’s not my type. And two, it never happened, OK?” Trump said.
In her bizarre CNN interview in 2019, Carroll mentioned rape as “sexy.”
“I believe most people see rape as sexy. They think of the fantasies,” Carroll said to Anderson Cooper who then went to commercial.
This is WHAT happens when you don't vet a guest or their story properly ⬇️
E. Jean Carroll : "I think most people think of rape as being sexy."
Anderson Cooper: "We're uhh go'in take uhh quick break" — We'll talk more on the other side.
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) June 25, 2019
Author: Blake Ambrose