A government judge on Tuesday dismissed a U.S. government solicitation to drop Donald Trump as a litigant in a maligning claim; by an essayist who said the president erroneously denied assaulting her in a Manhattan retail establishment 25 year back.
U.S. Region Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan wouldn’t let the administration substitute itself for Trump; as a litigant in previous Elle magazine feature writer E. Jean Carroll’s claim.
A decision for the legislature would have protected Trump from risk and likely bound Carroll’s maligning guarantee.
Carroll had sued Trump last November in a New York state court; after he had denied having raped her in Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s or knowing who she was. Trump said she fabricated the story to sell a new book, and added: “She’s not my type.”
Acting at the behest of Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice moved the case to federal court; where it said Trump acted in his official capacity when denying Carroll’s claims, and thus could not be sued personally for defamation.
But Kaplan said a law shielding federal employees from being sued for acts done during their employment did not cover presidents.
He also said Trump did not make his statements about Carroll in the scope of his employment as president.
“No one even arguably directed or controlled President Trump when he commented on the plaintiff’s accusation; which had nothing to do with the official business of government, that he raped her decades before he took office,” Kaplan wrote in a 61-page decision. “And no one had the ability to control him.”
The Justice Department declined to comment.
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