Biden govt seeks to defend Trump in rape denial lawsuit

Marco Green
June 9, 2021

Last week the New York Times, another frequent target of President Trump, reported that the department had secretly seized phone records from 2017 related to four of its reporters and obtained a court order to obtain logs of reporters' emails.

"I think it's a mistake by Garland, and I think it's part of a broader pattern, where he has taken a middle road rather than affirmatively undoing some of the abuses of the Barr Justice Department", former Southern District of NY prosecutor and CNN's senior legal analyst Elie Honig, the author of the soon-to-be released book on Barr titled "Hatchet Man", told Law&Crime in a phone interview.

Ms Carroll, a columnist for Elle, alleged Mr Trump had raped her in the dressing room of a department store.

In defending Trump in its filing Monday, the Justice Department is carrying on an effort that began under former U.S. Attorney General William Barr while Trump was still in office.

The lawsuit filed by the columnist, E. Jean Carroll, alleges Trump defamed her when he denied raping her, said she wasn't his type and claimed she made the allegation to boost sales of her new book.

Justice Department lawyers also asked the judge to throw out the case because Trump is no longer president, and there is no reason to be concerned that the state violence at Lafayette Square will be repeated.

The new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, slated for release on 10 August, is one of several seeking to offer a "postmortem" account of Donald Trump's defeat in the presidential elections of 2020, with the author having interviewed over 150 people, including the 45th POTUS himself, as part of research for the volume.

They said: "Elected public officials can - and often must - address allegations regarding personal wrongdoing that inspire doubt about their suitability for office". "Others said Fox News anchor Sean Hannity expressed concern that Biden would collapse under a sustained attack from Trump".

Mike Stern, who served as senior counsel to the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004 and dealt with the Westfall Act involving members of Congress, said it's likely the DOJ will win its argument.

Carroll's lawyer lead Roberta Kaplan slammed the move as "legally and morally wrong". "I and my attorneys Robbie Kaplan and Joshua Matz are confident that Judge Kaplan's decision will be affirmed by the Second Circuit".

ABC News has reached out to the White House for comment. "Nor does it turn on the truthfulness of Ms. Carroll's allegations".

Carroll's lawyers have previously argued that allowing the Justice Department to insert itself into the defamation case would effectively make presidents above the law. The article was an excerpt from her then-upcoming book. It should be sold in the fiction section.

Mr Trump has so far made no public comments on the issue.

In her lawsuit, Carroll argued Trump damaged her reputation and career - she said she lost her job at Elle magazine - by denying her story and claiming she took money from political opponents to fabricate it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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