The Biden administration’s justice ministry on Monday filed lawsuits seeking to defend former President Donald Trump in a defamation lawsuit.
President Joe Biden criticized Trump during last year’s election campaign for using the department as his own “private law firm” on a number of occasions, including the case of E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexually abusing her in the middle. of the 90s.
In September, Trump’s Department of Justice filed documents seeking to represent Trump against Carol’s lawsuit in federal court.
Trump denied Carol’s allegation of sexual abuse in a department store, saying it was “not my type” and “never happened.”
Carol, a one-time Elle magazine columnist who included the allegations in a 2019 book, filed a defamation lawsuit in 2019. In October, U.S. District Judge Louis Kaplan rejected an attempt by the Trump administration to represent him at the Department of Justice.
The Justice Department argued in a brief report filed Monday at the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in New York that she should represent Trump, as almost everything he said and did as president was a matter of government action.
“Speaking to the public and the press on matters of public interest is undoubtedly part of the job of an elected official,” the report said. “Thus, the courts have consistently and repeatedly argued that allegations of defamation made in this context fall within the scope of employment of elected officials – including when statements have been prompted by inquiries from the press about the official’s personal life.”
Justice Department lawyers wrote that Trump was “rude and disrespectful”, questioning Carol’s credibility and that comments attacking her appearance, challenging her motives and hinting that she had made false accusations were “undoubtedly unnecessary and inappropriate.” “. But they said “everyone is concerned with denying wrongdoing.”
Carol responded in a statement: “As women across the country stand up and hold men responsible for the attack – DOJ is trying to stop me from having the same right. I’m angry! I’m offended! Me and my lawyers Robbie Kaplan and Joshua Matz are confident. that Judge Kaplan’s decision will be upheld by the Second Circuit. “
Carol’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement: “The DOJ’s position is not only legally wrong, but also morally wrong, as it would give federal officials a free license to cover up private sexual offenses by publicly brutalizing any woman who has the courage to came out. Calling a woman you have sexually abused a “liar,” a “slut,” or “not my type,” as Donald Trump did here, is not an official act of an American president. “
Colin Shealy,, Julie Goldstein,, Kurt Chirbas and Associated Press contributed.