White House Asked DOJ to Intervene for Trump in E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit

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Outrage has ensued over the last-minute decision for the Department of Justice to represent the President in a defamation lawsuit brought on by journalist E. Jean Carroll.

Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a NYC department store in the 1990s. Many questions have begun to swirl around the sudden change in representation. Lawyers, political leaders, and private citizens alike want to know why taxpayer money is being used to defend someone accused of sexual assault; and if this is the President’s way of flexing his power in order to end the lawsuit altogether.

In June 2019, Trump lied about knowing Carroll when asked about the accusation during a press briefing. He stated, “I have no idea who she is” and that Carroll was “not his type.” However, when photos of the two surfaced, proving Trump’s claim to be false, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit in the state of New York. Before the DOJ decided to step in, a state judge rejected another claim made by Trump that he is immune from a private lawsuit. The next step in the civil case would have been for Trump to sit for a deposition and provide a DNA sample, when this could no longer be avoided a motion was file for the DOJ to replace Trump’s private lawyers. Angry social media users responded to this news by creating the hashtag #TrumpIsARapist, with many of the tweets asking a similar question: if the president is innocent, why not submit a DNA sample and end the entire lawsuit?

Attorney General Barr defended the decision to step in, stating that when Trump denied the initial claim during that press briefing, he was acting in the official capacity of the President. Since Carroll’s defamation suit came after Trump’s comments, with her claiming that his denials brought her unjust harm, the President is now using the DOJ to fight his battle. Leaders, like Rep. Adam Schiff, are also criticizing Barr, who has been accused before of using his title to help the President politically. This takeover is seen as a way to keep the headline of the lawsuit under wraps and end it as quickly as possible, so it does not further hinder re-election chances for Trump.

With Americans paying close attention to the President’s every move amid the upcoming election, the use of taxpayer money to defend a rapist may not sit right with many citizens. If the DOJ can sweep this lawsuit under the rug, it will be another instance of Trump using his power to get himself out of sticky situations. He is also currently facing other legal issues, including various subpoenas for his income taxes. Trump is still looking for ways to prevent that information from becoming public.

No matter the outcome of the President’s legal troubles, and what will come of Carroll’s lawsuit, the American people will decide in November if they want four more years of a scandal-ridden presidency. You can visit vote.org for more information on registering to vote and making sure you are prepared for the upcoming election.