Trump appeals decision that DOJ cannot rep him in defamation case

57

President Trump is appealing to a higher court after his failed bid to have the Justice Department rep him in a defamation case, new court papers show.

The DOJ made the unusual request in September to take over Trump’s defense in rape accuser E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit — even seeking to replace Trump as the defendant — arguing that the president was acting “within the scope of his office” when he publicly denied Carroll’s sexual assault allegation.

But last month, Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the request, finding that the president couldn’t be considered an “employee of the Government” under the relevant legal meaning and further wasn’t making the comments as part of his job.

Both Trump and the DOJ are asking the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Kaplan’s decision, according to records filed Thursday in Carroll’s case.

The Elle Magazine “Ask E. Jean” writer sued Trump in November 2019 claiming that he defamed her when he claimed he’d never met her and publicly denied her accusations that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman changing room in the 1990s.

Carroll’s lawyer Robbie Kaplan said they are not surprised by the appeal.

“From the very start of this case, Donald Trump’s number one goal has been to avoid discovery and cause delay,” Robbie Kaplan said.

“We are confident that the Second Circuit will affirm the District Court’s comprehensive and well-reasoned opinion,” the lawyer continued.