A federal judge has rejected a motion to have the Justice Department substitute Donald Trump as defendant in a defamation case that writer E. Jean Carroll brought against him. Carroll says that Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, and she brought a defamation case against the president following his reaction to the revelation of her story. In that ongoing case, Carroll’s legal team has sought a DNA sample from the president, which he has yet to provide. CNN notes that if the Justice Department were to have been allowed to take over the president’s position, then the case would have likely drawn to a close, because the federal government is exempt from defamation lawsuits.
NEW: A federal judge on Tuesday denied the Department of Justice’s effort to intervene in a defamation lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump by E. Jean Carroll, a longtime magazine columnist who has alleged he raped her, paving the way for the case to proceed.
— erica orden (@eorden) October 27, 2020
‘A federal judge on Tuesday denied the Justice Department’s effort to intervene in a defamation lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump by a longtime magazine columnist who has alleged he raped her, paving the way for the case to proceed. The department had sought to substitute itself as defendant in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a move that likely would have ended the proceedings, since the federal government can’t be sued for defamation.’
The federal judge in the Carroll/ Trump case, Lewis A. Kaplan, concluded that the Justice Department could not take over Trump’s position in part because the alleged defamation with which Trump targeted Carroll is not related to Trump’s duties as president. Allowing for the Justice Department to take over the case would have meant that the federal government would have been (again) used for the personal whims of Donald Trump. Other examples of the usurpation of the federal government for Trump’s personal aims include the repeated special treatment for his associates who have faced federal criminal cases.
NEW: A federal judge ruled DOJ *cannot* take over Trump's defense against the defamation suit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll — Trump doesn't qualify as a govt employee and, regardless, his statements weren't "within the scope of his employment" https://t.co/cTPeKnJr0n pic.twitter.com/5Dj2BVeXCN
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 27, 2020
Trump has faced the revelation of a large number of stories of him having perpetrated sexual harassment and assault over his time in business. He has offered tacit support to these stories with his own documented sexist behavior, like the infamous comments captured on an Access Hollywood tape in the early 2000s, which Trump dismissed as “locker room talk.” In reality, Trump is a documented sexist — as president, he even frequently singles out female reporters for belligerent criticism. During a recent interview with Lesley Stahl, he complained: “That’s no way to talk,” and on another occasion, he told a reporter that he “knows” that she “never” thinks. Both incidents seem like barely veiled vitriolic sexism, and there are more examples.
Notably enough, Trump has made a big deal out of his support — or supposed lack thereof — among so-called “suburban women.”
Trump has claimed that, if elected, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would “abolish” the suburbs by paving the way for low-income housing to “invade.” This rhetoric sounds like thinly veiled race-baiting. Low-income housing is often associated with marginalized communities like low-income black Americans — it’s as if Trump is promising to keep black people and other marginalized groups out of the white-dominated suburbs. It’s appalling behavior from the president of the United States — who, based on polls, might be on a fast-track to a resounding loss.