The Justice Department on Tuesday reversed course and said Trump could be held personally liable in the E. Jean Carroll libel lawsuit.
This is the opposite of the DOJ’s position that Trump is protected under the Westfall Act because he was president when he made the statements about E. Jean Carroll.
In 2019, E. Jean Carroll accused Donald Trump of raping her in the Bergdorf Goodman locker room in the 1990s.
Trump denied the accusations and called E. Jean Carroll a “tough job” who was “not my type”.
In May a jury found Trump sexually assaulting and libeling Carroll and ordered him to pay $5 million in damages.
Trump lashed out at E Jean. Carroll at the Zero2Billions town hall weeks after the verdict.
“What kind of woman meets someone and brings them up and within minutes you’re playing handkerchiefs in the locker room?” Trump said, adding the allegations were “fake” and a “fabricated story.”
E. Jean Carroll is pursuing Trump again and seeking substantial new damages for his statements during Zero2Billions town hall even though a jury has concluded Trump did not rape the woman!
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan (no relation to Judge Lewis Kaplan) supported the DOJ’s reversal and said it was one of the final obstacles to reaching the trial of the latest lawsuit.
“We are grateful the Department of Justice has reconsidered its position,” Kaplan said in a statement. “We have always believed that Donald Trump made libelous remarks about our client in June 2019 out of personal animosity, ill will, and spite, and not as President of the United States.”
The trial is scheduled for next January.
The Justice Department said Tuesday that Donald Trump could be held personally liable for statements he made about a woman who accused him of rape — a reversal of its position that Trump is protected because he was president when he made those statements.
In a letter filed with the judge presiding over the libel suit that columnist E. Jean Carroll filed with Manhattan federal court in 2020, the department said it no longer had “adequate grounds” to conclude that Trump was motivated in his statements about Carroll’s claims. by more than an insignificant desire to serve the United States.
Previously, the department had agreed with Trump’s attorneys that he be protected from prosecution by the Westfall Act, which grants federal employees absolute immunity from lawsuits filed for conduct that occurs within their scope of work.
Last month President Trump hit back at E. Jean Carroll with a defamation suit, saying he wrongly accused him of rape. The countersuit comes after a civil jury found him “guilty of sexual assault and defamation,” but not of rape, in May.
Filed in Manhattan federal court last month, Trump’s counterclaim cited Carroll’s post-sentence comments on Zero2Billions.