The U.S. Department of Justice has taken legal action to protect President Donald Trump in a defamation suit against a woman accused of raping her.
Under the court’s order, the department is moving to replace the president’s private lawyers and take up the case.
Columnist E. Jean Carroll accused Mr. Trump of assaulting him at a department store in Manhattan in the 1990s.
In one case, he argued that the president insulted him when he denied his claim, claiming he was “not of his kind.”
Critics of Mr. Trump say he compromised with the U.S. Department of Justice during his presidency, which is intended to run independently of the White House.
The president has so far represented in the case, which was filed in New York State Court in November 2012 by his personal lawyer, Mark Cassowitz.
- Sexual allegations against Donald Trump
What did the judiciary say?
Lawyers for the case, which was filed in court on Tuesday, argued that Mr. Trump’s official attorneys could protect him because he was exercising his powers as president when he denied Ms. Carroll’s allegations.
“President Trump was working in the field of his office as President of the United States, in which case the plaintiff’s defamation suit was filed,” the statement said.
It wants to take the case from a state court to a federal court.
Government lawyers cited the Federal Tort Clams Act, which provides some immunity from litigation for U.S. government employees.
Steve Vladek, a law professor at the University of Texas, told CNN that such interference by the judiciary was highly unusual.
Legal analysts say the lawsuit filed could effectively kill the case because the federal government cannot be sued for defamation.
The move comes a month after a state court judge ruled that Mr. Trump could not use legal defense in the case.
The president is currently campaigning for re-election against Democratic challenger Joe Biden in November.
- Biden has denied allegations of sexual harassment by a former colleague
How did E Jean Carroll react?
Ames Carroll – who was a consultant columnist for Eli Magazine – said in a statement: “Today’s actions demonstrate that Trump will do everything possible, including using the full power of the federal government, to prevent the discovery in my case before the next one. To determine which of us is lying. Selection to try to stop the jury. “
His legal team is asking the president to provide a DNA sample so they can determine if his genetic material is on a black donut dress that he said he was allegedly wearing during the attack.
His lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan, said Tuesday evening that the judiciary’s intervention was “shocking.”
“Trump’s efforts to exercise U.S. government power to avoid liability for personal misconduct show more clearly how far he wants to go to avoid his unprecedented and truth-telling,” the lawyer said.
What did E Jean Carroll complain?
He says the attack took place at the Bergdorf Goodman store in Midtown Manhattan in late 1995 or early 1996, when the pair jumped into each other while shopping.
The former Apprentice star and real estate giant asked her for advice when buying another woman’s lingerie and jokingly asked her to model it for him.
In the altered rooms, he said Mr. Trump leaned towards him, pinned him against a wall, and forced himself on him.
Mrs Carroll claims she was able to remove him after “a lot of fighting”.
Mr. Trump and Ms. Carroll were both around 50 at the time and he was married to Marla Maples.
Mr. Trump has publicly denied the allegations several times, with Mess Carroll publicly denying the allegations, including “completely false” and his claim “fiction.”
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