Justice Department appeals ruling in case against E. Jean Carroll, seeking to replace President Trump as defendant

The Ministry of Justice is appealing a refusal of the judge to let the United States replace President Donald Trump as defendant in a libel suit brought in by a woman who says she raped her in the 1990s.

Lawyers for the department have informed U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of their intention to ask the Manhattan U.S. Circuit Second Appeals Court on Wednesday to review the judge’s decision.

Kaplan concluded last month in a written ruling that Trump’s June 19, 2019 statements about columnist E. Jean Carroll did not constitute an official act of the presidency and fell outside his tenure as president.

Replacing Trump with the United States would leave taxpayers responsible for any payment in the case.

Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said in a statement that the Justice Department’s appeal came as no surprise because, since the start of the case, “Donald Trump’s number one target has been to avoid discovery and cause delay. ”

She said it remains to be seen whether the new attorney general “will agree that Trump was acting in the course of his job as president when he defamed our client.”

Yet, she added, Carroll’s lawyers are convinced that Circuit 2 will maintain “the judge’s full and well-reasoned opinion.”

Justice Department attorneys said Trump had to respond in June 2019 to the book charges against him by Carroll because the allegations concerned his fitness for duty.

Carroll said Trump raped her in a locker room at a luxury department store a quarter of a century ago after randomly bumping into and engaging in conversation as each acknowledged the extent of the other’s fame.

Trump said Carroll was “totally lying” to sell a memoir and had never met her, although a 1987 photo showed them and their then-spouses at a social event . He said the photo captured a moment when he was standing in line.

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