Trump Put On Public Notice By E. Jean Carroll Over Rape Case

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Author E. Jean Carroll, who has stated that she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump in the 1990s, is refusing to back down from her attempts to hold the ex-president accountable for defamation related to the case. Carroll sued Trump for defamation after his denials of her statements about the 1990s incident, and now, Trump has revealed a counterclaim against Carroll, alleging (as summarized by Bloomberg) that “her defamation lawsuit against him was filed in bad faith.” Trump is claiming that Carroll’s defamation case violates the so-called Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (anti-SLAPP) law in New York, which is meant to curtail lawsuits that undercut free speech — such as how Trump seeks to characterize his remarks about Carroll.

In response to a post about Trump’s plans for a counterclaim against Carroll, the writer shared on Twitter as follows this week:

‘I will never give up, I will never give in, I will never forget, I will NEVER surrender. (And, P.S. I have the most powerful civil rights attorneys in the nation— [Joshua Matz] and [Robbie Kaplan])’

Kaplan, in response to the counter-suit move from Trump’s side, observed that he “sat on his hands for a year after the anti-SLAPP law was passed” and characterized his plans as a “transparent” delay tactic. The relevant legal provisions falling under “anti-SLAPP” in New York were amended in 2020. Kaplan, meanwhile, added that although “Trump may be notorious for using the courts to attack women he has assaulted, his latest gambit will not work — when it comes to E. Jean Carroll, the truth will prevail.” Carroll and Trump’s sides were set to face off in a Friday hearing, in connection to an attempt that began in the Trump era for the Justice Department to replace Trump as the defendant in the original defamation case that Carroll brought.

For that replacement to go through would mean the end of the proceedings, since defamation cases against the Justice Department can’t move forward according to current rules. Kaplan has been sharply critical of the decision by Justice Department officials in the Biden administration to continue the argument that Trump’s denials of Carroll’s statements were made within the bounds of his presidential role, warranting intervention by the department. Kaplan said that the department’s “position is not only legally wrong, it is morally wrong since it would give federal officials free license to cover up private sexual misconduct by publicly brutalizing any woman who has the courage to come forward.”