Last month the Justice Department moved to take the President’s place in litigation under the Westfall Act, which was said to be enforced because Trump’s denials about the alleged assault were in response to reporters’ questions in June 2019 while he was president. .
“There is no merit to the Department of Justice certification that Trump acted as part of his employment as president in defaming Carroll,” Carroll’s attorney said Monday in a court statement. “There is not a single person in the United States – neither the President nor anyone else – whose work includes slandering women who have sexually assaulted,” the document reads.
“If accepted, the Justice Department’s extreme position would distort the law and dishonor the Bureau of the Presidency,” Carroll’s lawyers wrote in the filing. Lawyers said that if the judge doesn’t deny the Justice Department’s motion, then they are seeking a hearing to determine if Trump was acting in official capacity when he defamed Carroll.
CNN contacted the Justice Department for comment. The Department of Justice has until October 19 to respond to Carroll’s legal arguments, making it highly unlikely that the dispute will be resolved or any evidence obtained before election day.
Last month, Attorney General William Barr confirmed that the White House asked the Justice Department to take the case. The request could further delay the case or kill him altogether because the Department of Justice cannot be sued for defamation, said CNN legal analyst and University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck.
Carroll sued Trump in state court in November 2019, accusing him of defamation when, among other statements, he denied his assault allegations in a locker room in Bergdorf Goodman, a New York department store, in the mid-1990s. .
Trump’s private lawyers appealed the lawsuit, and in August a state court judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed. Carroll’s attorneys had previously filed motions indicating that they wanted to obtain a DNA sample from the president to compare against the DNA of an unidentified male which was obtained from the suit Carroll says he was wearing on the day of the alleged attack. His lawyers also said they would try to oath Trump.
On the date of the deadline for Trump to file an appeal against the state court’s decision, the Department of Justice filed his motion with the federal court seeking to replace himself for the president.