E. Jean Carroll says Trump's job doesn't shield him in defamation suit
Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in 1996, say the president can’t use his job as a shield in her defamation suit
- Carroll’s lawyers made the argument in Manhattan federal court filing Monday
- ‘Only in a world gone mad could it somehow be presidential, not personal, for Trump to slander a woman who he sexually assaulted,’ they wrote
- The filing was in response to the Justice Department’s attempt to substitute the US as the defendant in Carroll’s suit
- The suit alleges that Trump defamed Carroll in 2019 when she came forward to accuse him of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in 1996
- The DOJ argued that Trump acted ‘within the scope of his office’ when he denied Carroll’s claims, said he had never met her and accused her of lying
- But Carroll’s lawyers say Trump’s assertions were personal, not professional
Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, who accused Donald Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room 24 years ago, argued that the president cannot use his job as a shield from the advice columnist’s defamation suit in a new court filing.
‘Only in a world gone mad could it somehow be presidential, not personal, for Trump to slander a woman who he sexually assaulted,’ Carroll’s lawyers wrote in a Manhattan federal court filing viewed by DailyMail.com on Monday.
‘There is not a single person in the United States – not the President and not anyone else – whose job description includes slandering women who they sexually assaulted.’
The filing was in response to a Justice Department’s attempt to substitute the US as the defendant in Carroll’s suit, which alleges that Trump defamed her in 2019 when she came forward to accuse him of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City in 1996.
Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll (left), who accused Donald Trump (right) of raping her in a department store dressing room 24 years ago, argued that the president cannot use his job as a shield from the advice columnist’s defamation suit in a new court filing
The DOJ sought the substitution last month, arguing that courts have recognized that elected officials ‘act within the scope of their office or employment when speaking with the press, including with respect to personal matters’.
The move would put taxpayers on the hook for any potential payout in a lawsuit seeking damages and a retraction of the statements.
Carroll’s lawyers, Roberta Kaplan and Joshua Matz, asked a judge to refuse the DOJ’s request to replace Trump as the defendant or force it to prove that defaming Carroll three times in June 2019 with a ‘slew of lies’ was part of his job.
They wrote that the defamatory attacks included assertions that Carroll had falsely accused other men of rape, that she lied about him to advance a secret political conspiracy and sell books and that he had never met her even though they’d been photographed together.
The lawyers noted that Trump also had said: ‘She’s not my type.’
Trump claimed that he had never met Carroll, but the advice columnist and author submitted photographic evidence that they had in the lawsuit. The photo above shows Trump and first wife Ivana (left and right) with Carroll and her then-husband John Johnson (center)
Kaplan and Matz’s argument centered around the assertion that the Federal Torts Claims Act, a statute that assumes liability for the wrongful acts of government employees and was cited by the DOJ in its request, does not apply to the president.
‘The bottom line is that the President enjoys absolute immunity from damages claims based on conduct within the outer perimeter of his official responsibilities, but is not shielded by the FTCA for tortious acts committed within the scope of his employment,’ the filing states.
Furthermore, they argued that Trump was not acting within the scope of his employment when he defamed Carroll.
‘Trump acted for decidedly personal reasons unrelated to furthering any interests of the United States,’ the lawyers wrote.
‘Moreover, it is inconceivable that Trump’s employers—a.k.a., the American people—expect his job to include viciously defaming a woman he sexually assaulted.
‘In asserting otherwise, the Justice Department opines that elected officials always act within the scope of their office when speaking with the press, even about personal matters.’
The filing also asserts that the DOJ’s attempt to substitute the US as defendant and move the case from state to federal court was part of a pattern of maneuvers designed to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack.
A spokesperson for Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz and the Justice Department did not immediately return requests for comment.
Above is an excerpt from the motion filed by Carroll’s lawyers in federal court on Monday
Carroll’s lawyers said Trump’s legal team is attempting to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack (pictured)
Carroll, who was a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist until being fired last December amid her legal battle with Trump, first aired her rape allegation in her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal in July 2019.
She wrote in the memoir, which had an excerpt featured in New York Magazine, that it happened after they ran into each other at the store and Trump recognized her from her column.
After asking her to help him pick out a gift for a woman, Carroll said he took her to the lingerie department and asked her to try on an item he chose.
Then, Carroll said Trump shoved her against a wall, unzipped his pants and forcibly penetrated her in an attack she claims lasted three minutes.
Carroll detailed her allegations against Trump in New York magazine, appearing on the cover (pictured) in the very same coat dress that she claims she was wearing on that day in the Fall of 1995 or Spring of 1996 when Trump allegedly assaulted her
Trump said Carroll was ‘totally lying’ to sell a memoir and that he’d never met her, though a 1987 photo showed them and their then-spouses at a social event. He said it just captured a moment when he was standing in a line.
‘She is trying to sell a new book – that should indicate her motivation,’ he said in one of various statements on the matter, adding that the book ‘should be sold in the fiction section’.
Carroll is trying to get a DNA sample from Trump to see whether it matches as-yet-unidentified male genetic material found on a dress that she says she was wearing during the alleged attack and didn’t don again until a photo shoot last year.
‘The dress has been tested. We have the results. My attorney @kaplanrobbie has served notice to @realDonaldTrump’s attorney to submit a sample of Trump’s DNA,’ Carroll tweeted in January.
A lab report taken on the black wool coat-styled dress found DNA on the sleeves mixed with at least four people, including one man.
Carroll’s suit seeks damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements, saying they hurt her career and reputation.
Trump’s legal team has repeatedly tried – and failed – to have the suit dismissed, arguing that Carroll’s rape allegation is false and that the president did not defame her.
Read the full Monday filing from Carroll’s lawyers:
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