DOJ Moves To Become Trump’s Defense Team In Personal Lawsuit Alleging Rape In The 90s

Attorney General Bill Barr speaks during a roundtable meeting on seniors with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House on June 15, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The Department of Justice formally requested on Tuesday night to take over as President Donald Trump’s defense in journalist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit that stems from her allegation that Trump once raped her in the mid-90s.

Even though Carroll had sued Trump “in his personal capacity” in the New York Supreme Court, DOJ deputy James Touhey argued in the new filing that Trump was “acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the claim arose” due to the fact that Carroll claims the President had defamed her in June of last year.

Carroll responded to the DOJ’s move with outrage.

“TRUMP HURLS BILL BARR AT ME,” she tweeted, adding that she and her attorney, Robbie Kaplan, “are happy to TAKE THEM ALL ON!”

Kaplan slammed the Justice Department and Trump in a statement of her own.

“Trump’s effort to wield the power of the U.S. government to evade responsibility for his private misconduct is without precedent, and shows even more starkly how far he is willing to go to prevent the truth from coming out,” she said.

In November 2019, Carroll sued Trump over his denial of knowing who she was, his accusation that she had made it all up, and his comments disparaging her looks in June that year.

Carroll had alleged in her book that sometime between the fall of 1995 and the spring of 1996, Trump had raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.

Besides saying last year that Carroll was “not my type,” Trump also claimed he had “no idea who she is” despite the photo of the two of them chatting together.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: