Nearly a year has passed since E. Jean Carroll, the former Elle columnist behind the popular and long-running “Ask E. Jean,” filed a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump after he denied Carroll’s allegations that he raped her in the mid-1990s. Carroll first detailed the alleged attack in June of 2019 in an excerpt from her then-unreleased book What Do We Need Men For, which she claims occurred in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman. In the weeks and months following the accusation, Carroll was harassed by Trump supporters online, received death threats, and was fired from her position at Elle after 26 years of writing for the publication.
In January of 2020, E. Jean Carroll and her attorney served a notice to one of Trump’s attorneys requesting a DNA sample to compare to the dress Carroll says she was wearing at the time of the alleged assault. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Justice Department is seeking to take over the defense of President Trump against the defamation suit Carroll filed against him in November 2019. In a court filing, the DOJ stated that Trump was acting “within the scope” of his job as president when he claimed that Carroll lied about the alleged assault, saying “she’s not my type”.
I’m no lawyer, but it sounds like a stretch to claim that Trump was acting “officially” in his role as the leader of the United States while dismissing personal accusations about events that allegedly occurred decades before he set foot in office. But hey, what do I know?
Carroll issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the Department of Justice’s actions:
“Today’s actions demonstrate that Trump will do everything possible, including using the full powers of the federal government, to block discovery from going forward in my case before the upcoming election to try to prevent a jury from ever deciding which one of us is lying,” Carroll said in a statement Tuesday.
At first, it’s not quite clear why the DOJ is just now attempting to take over Trump’s defense, but according to Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan, the Justice Department’s filing came on the deadline for Trump to appeal the state court judge’s ruling requiring him to provide evidence in the lawsuit.
Well, clearly there’s nothing questionable going on here!