The Justice Department is seeking to take over President Donald Trump’s defense in a defamation that rape accuser E. Jean Carroll filed against him after he called her a liar.
Trump was acting ‘within the scope’ of his job as president, DOJ wrote in a new memo filed with the court as the suit moves to a new evidentiary phase – in a bid that would have a stable of taxpayer-paid government lawyers take up the defense.
Trump accused Carroll of ‘totally lying’ and said she was ‘not my type’ when she came out with an essay accusing him of raping her in the Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996.
E. Jean Carroll claims Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s and has sued Donald Trump for defamation after he said she was lying. The U.S. Justice Department filed a memo seeking to take over the defense
Carroll’s suit, filed late last year, says Trump ‘smeared her integrity, honesty and dignity — all in the national press.’
Bloomberg news reported the legal development. It comes as Carroll’s team seeks to build her case by forcing Trump to give a deposition as well as a DNA sample.
In her explosive article detailing the allegations, Carroll writes that she kept the black wool dress she wore the day of the alleged incident. Her team wants it tested for any genetic material.
Trump has been represented by longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz in the matter, who also helped represent Trump in his multi-lawyered impeachment defense.
The memo was filed by the Justice Department, headed by Trump loyalist attorney general Bill Barr
Donald Trump responded to a rape accusation by the writer E. Jean Carroll (second from left) by saying that he’s never met her. A photo from 1987 shows them at a party together.
The memo comes as the Trump campaign is under fire for heavy spending on lawyers
Carroll’s team has had a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged rape tested for DNA evidence
Carroll is seeking damages from Trump for alleged ‘defamatory statements’
Trump’s lawyers had sought to delay the suit in a filing last month but a New York judge ruled it can go forward
Tuesday’s news follows reports that Trump’s campaign has blown through $800 million – including on legal fees to help Trump fend off a variety of lawsuits. The RNC has spent upwards of $2.5 million defending Trump on Russia and Ukraine investigations, the New York Times reported, while the campaign has spent $1.5 million on litigation involving a campaign aide who says she was sexually harassed and other matters.
‘Because President Trump was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the plaintiff’s claim arose, the United States will file a motion to substitute itself for President Trump in this action,’ according to the DOJ memo.
The filing has the potential to further delay action in the case until after the November elections. A New York judge ruled in August against Trump’s urging to delay the case.