Was Trump Acting As POTUS When He Said E. Jean Carroll Not Hot Enough To Rape?
The President of the United States wants to use US tax dollars as his personal rape defense slush fund.
Yeah. You read that right.
Earlier this week, the US Department of Justice filed a notice of its intent to intervene in one of the currently pending civil lawsuits about the president sexually assaulting women. Yesterday, Bill Barr revealed that Trump asked the DOJ to intervene in the rape case. Because of course he did.
As you may remember, last year, former longtime Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll came forward with allegations that Donald Trump had raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman's dressing room in the 1990s. In response to Carroll's allegations, Trump, classy man of the world that he is, said Carroll was too ugly to rape, claiming she was "not [his] type." He also called Carroll a liar and bizarrely claimed he had never met her -- despite Carroll's book including a photo of the two of them together in New York in 1987.
In response, Carroll sued Trump for defamation. And now, Bill Barr wants a piece of the action!
By seeking to intervene in the case, the DOJ is putting the federal government on the hook for Trump's legal defense, and any judgments against him. Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen!
At this point, you might be wondering, "Is it normal for the DOJ to intervene in the president's rape cases?" And the answer is no. Resoundingly, no. Emphatically, no.
Someone has got to tell Bill Barr that he has already run away with the award for Most Corrupt Attorney General Ever, so there's really no reason to keep gunning this hard for it.
Carroll, for her part, saw exactly what Trump and his goon squad were doing.
TRUMP HURLS BILL BARR AT ME. Just when @realDonaldTrump is required to produce documents and DNA in discovery, h… https://t.co/lDuyKN8du6— E. Jean Carroll (@E. Jean Carroll) 1599604566.0
What in the actual fuck.
The actual, official reason the DOJ gave for interjecting itself into the lawsuit is that Donald Trump was acting within the scope of his official duties as president when he said Carroll was too ugly for him to rape.
Because President Trump was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the plaintiff's claim arose, the United States will file a motion to substitute itself for President Trump in this action for any claim for which the FTCA provides the exclusive remedy[.]
The alleged assault took place in the '90s, long before Trump even ran for office. But the DOJ, on its mission to completely obliterate anything it might possibly have left in terms of credibility, has decided it should jump in anyway. Its reasoning is that Trump WAS ACTING IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT when he said E. Jean Carroll wasn't his type.
So, the Federal Tort Claims Act, or FTCA, gives federal government employees immunity from lawsuits when they're acting in their official capacity. So for example, we don't get to sue Kayleigh McEnany in her personal capacity for all of the disgusting lies she spews from the White House press room on a daily basis, because she's doing her job.
But the idea that the president is acting within the scope of his job as president and commander-in-chief in saying that about E. Jean Carroll is ... a new one. As University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck put it,
The question is, is it really within the scope of the law for government lawyers to defend someone accused of lying about a rape when he wasn't even president yet?
It's fucking insane. And at least some DOJ officials agree. As reported by the New York Times,
Some current and former Justice Department lawyers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, echoed Mr. Vladeck's concerns, saying they were stunned that the department had been asked to defend Mr. Trump in Ms. Carroll's case. By moving to take control of the matter, the department had raised a critical question, the lawyers said: Was it truly within the scope of a president's duties to comment on the physical appearance of a woman who had accused him of rape?
And that's not all!
If successful, Barr's ploy could kill Carroll's suit entirely. Barr has asked the court to declare the federal government, and not Trump himself, as the defendant. The federal government can't be sued for defamation, so if the court accepts the argument that it was the Office of the President speaking when Trump said E. Jean Carroll wasn't hot enough to rape, the case would be dismissed.
Of course, just by filing this notice of removal, Trump has bought himself something that is quickly running out in the lead-up to the election: time.
Carroll filed her suit n November 2019. The DOJ could have filed this bison manure at any time in the litigation. But instead, it waited until right before the election and right after Carroll asked for Trump's DNA. By waiting until now to remove the case to federal court, Barr and the DOJ have ensured that the parties will still be arguing about jurisdiction -- and not the merits of the case -- come Election Day.
And the merits of the case don't make Trump look great.
Last month, New York County Supreme Court Judge Verna Saunders denied Trump's attempts to put the suit on hold, rejecting the argument that Trump has an Article II that says he can do whatever he wants. That allowed Carroll's lawyers to move forward with their attempts to get Trump to testify under oath in a deposition and hand over a sample of his DNA.
And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the DOJ wanted in on the case. Two months before the election. Two months that will now be spent arguing about whether or not the case should remain in federal court instead of when Trump has to jizz into a cup and turn over the evidence.
So in sum, Carroll wants Trump's DNA to be a part of her lawsuit and wants Trump to testify under penalty of perjury. Trump is using the full force of the United States Department of Justice trying to STOP those things from happening. Which party do you think is telling the truth?
Carroll summed up the fuckery nicely:
"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.
Here's the DOJ's filing. It's gross.
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