The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed the decision of a federal judge holding President Donald Trump as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll, who claims he was raped for two decades.
Judge Lewis Kaplan last month banned the Department of Justice from replacing the alleged lame-duck president as a defendant by the U.S. government.
Kaplan’s decision virtually saved Carroll’s lawsuit from dismissal.
Attorney General William Barr said that if the government were replaced as a defendant, as he wished, the case would be dropped because the government did not waive its sovereign immunity as the defense against the sued government is known as.
The Department of Justice argued that Trump acted as a government employee when he said Carroll lied and was motivated by money by claiming that in 1995 or 1996 he was attacked in the locker room of the Bergdorf Goodman store.
Kaplan firmly rejected this argument.
“The president of the United States is not an employee of the government under the relevant laws,” Kaplan wrote in a 59-page resolution issued by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Oct. 27.
“Even if there were such an employee, President Trump’s allegedly defamatory allegations against Ms. Carroll would not have been within his scope,” Kaplan wrote.
“Accordingly, the motion to replace the United States with President Trump is rejected.”
Carroll tweeted after the decision, “This victory is for every woman in the country!”
The Department of Justice’s appeal will be filed with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for District 2, according to a petition filed with the Manhattan Federal Court.
Carroll’s attorney, Robbie Kaplan, who has no connection to the judge, said: “We are not at all surprised that the current Department of Justice is filing an appeal at the request of the White House to intervene in the case of E Jean Carroll. Judge Kaplan’s decision.”
“From the beginning of this case, Donald Trump’s number one goal has been to avoid discoveries and cause delays,” Kaplan said in a statement.
“We need to see if the new attorney general agrees to be Trump’s presidency when he slandered our client. In any case, we are confident that the second district will confirm the district court’s comprehensive and reasoned opinion.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice did not respond immediately to the request for comments.
Carroll’s lawsuit was pending in a New York state court where Trump was represented by attorneys for nearly a year before the Department of Justice intervened and the case was referred to federal court because he wanted to replace the president as a defendant instead of the government.
The ministry’s move came shortly after a state judge made decisions that forced Trump to allow himself to be questioned while Carroll’s lawyers were being deposited.
Trump should also be subjected to a DNA test to see if he has genetic material on a garment that Carroll said he wore during the alleged attack, according to a state court ruling.
Carroll wrote the “Ask E. Jean” council column in Elle magazine for more than a quarter of a century before the magazine fired him in early 2020.
NBC’s earlier writing “Saturday Night Live” received an Emmy nomination.
He is also the author of the biography of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, as well as a book that included his statement about Trump, “What We Need Men: A Modest Proposal.”
Carroll first claimed in a July 2019 article in New York that he had been raped by Trump.
In his response, Trump said he had “never met this person,” and he also said he was trying to “gain publicity” and “sell a book,” according to Carroll.
But the photos show Trump greeting Carroll at an event shortly before the encounter took place.
Several other women accused Trump of sexual misconduct. He denied all charges.
But shortly before the 2016 presidential election, a 2005 recording of the show “Access Hollywood” surfaced, revealing that Trump boasts of capturing female genitals without their consent.