Judge says U.S. can’t replace Trump in columnist’s slander suit

27 Octobre, 2020, 17:33 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Judge rejects DOJ's attempt to defend Trump in E. Jean Carroll rape defamation lawsuit

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a US government request to drop Donald Trump as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit by a writer who said the president falsely denied raping her in a Manhattan department store a quarter century ago.

Carroll sued Trump over that denial in NY in November, and last month, the Justice Department moved the case to federal court and asked a judge to substitute the USA government as the defendant in place of Trump.

Kaplan's decision is a defeat for Trump, because dropping him as a defendant would have shielded him from liability and likely doomed Carroll's defamation claim.

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Kaplan wrote that Trump's comments "concerned an alleged sexual assault that took place several decades before he took office, and the allegations have no relationship to the official business of the United States". That would have raised the prospect that the case would be dismissed because of immunity extended for libel and slander cases under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Kaplan also said Trump did not make his statements within the scope of his "employment" as president.

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