Oct 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll contest DOJ intervention in Trump defamation case

Combination images of E. Jean Carroll and President Trump.
Combination images of E. Jean Carroll and President Trump. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour/Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Attorneys for writer E. Jean Carroll filed a motion in a New York court Monday contesting the Department of Justice's notice seeking to replace President Trump's private lawyers in her defamation lawsuit against him.

Details: "There is not a single person in the United States — not the President and not anyone else —  whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted," Carroll's lawyers said in response to the DOJ's argument that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that she was "lying" about claims that he raped her in the 1990s.

Why it matters: Carroll's lawyers' filing against the highly unusual intervention of the DOJ comes less than a month before the presidential election.

  • The Elle magazine columnist has requested a DNA sample from the president as evidence of her sexual assault allegations in the defamation case.
  • If the court permits the DOJ to replace Trump's attorneys, "Carroll's complaint would effectively be dismissed," per the New York Times.

What they're saying: The Trump administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment. But a White House spokesperson told Axios last month that Carroll "was trying to sell a book" when she sued Trump for defamation "for denying her baseless claims" and that the DOJ's action was warranted because of a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act.

  • Carroll said in an emailed statement that Trump "knows that I told the truth."

Read the memorandum of law, via DocumentCloud:

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