The New York state court has turned down Donald Trump’s request to delay Carroll’s lawsuit. After this, the DOJ lawyers filed papers to shift the case to federal court and also asked to substitute the US for Trump as the defendant. This would imply that the government will have to pay damages to the accuser rather than Trump if needed in the future.
It is apparent that the Justice Department has always tried to shield Trump from legal exposure in the past. Even with regards to the Russia investigation case, a similar approach was taken, and the actions of Trump were upheld by the court. There are also concerns that Attorney General William Barr had tried to intervene in other cases that involved Trump or his allies on many instances. When Trump ally Roger Stone was found guilty in a criminal trial, Barr tried to decrease the amount of prison time. However, the Trump administration later commuted the sentence given to Stone.
Roberta Kaplan, who is representing Carroll, said that she found the argument of the DOJ shocking, and it offended her as a lawyer. She added that it offended her even more as a citizen. She also mentioned that Trump would go all out to handle the case and use the full powers of the federal government to stop the case in the future. She even challenged Trump in a tweet addressed to him and said that she, along with other women who had been silenced and the American citizens trampled by DOJ, are ready to take on the issue.
This filing is a threat to Carroll’s attempt to get the DNA sample of Trump, which she plans to use as evidence, and it will also protect him from giving answering questions under oath. The DOJ argues that Trump is acting within the scope of the office, and he has already denied all the allegations made by Carroll. She had alleged last year that Trump had raped her in a luxury departmental store in New York in the mid-1990s. She also added that Trump calling her a liar had harmed her career and besmirched her character.
The ball is now in the court of a federal judge, and he has to decide whether to move the case to federal court or continue it with the state court. Apart from that, the federal judge also has to decide if the US can be allowed to become a defendant in this case. Carroll has been trying to get the DNA sample of Trump to be used as evidence in the case. The unidentified male genetic material found on the dress she was wearing on that day of the alleged attack is the main point of the question, and it has to be seen if it matches with the DNA samples of Trump.
Trump has been trying to put the lawsuit on hold since summer by saying that under the constitution, a sitting president is immune from civil lawsuits in state courts. However, the judges have not accepted this theory. Yesterday was the last day for Trump to appeal that ruling. The DOJ got involved saying that Trump was acting as a government employee when he had categorically denied the allegations made by Carroll. In this regard, the US is the proper defendant. If the federal judge agrees with this argument, government lawyers who are paid with taxpayer money will be defending Trump, and it can even result in the case being dismissed.
Analysts argue that this is routine for the DOJ as they substitute the US for the individual defendant if the allegations happened when the individual was a government employee. Experts point out to an example saying that if a postal employee is driving the vehicle for official purposes and gets involved in an accident, the case will be handled by the government as the employee was acting within his official capacity at the time of the incident. However, if the same person were to get involved in an accident when he is driving his personal vehicle on some other occasion, he has to defend himself and pay the damages on his own.
However, when it comes to the job of a President, it is not easy to say this clearly as this is kind of a round the clock job, and it would fall in a gray area. While some people can argue that he was in his official capacity when he denied the accusations, others might argue that it was his personal matter that got him involved in the case, and there is nothing official about it. Apart from that, the interesting thing about the statements made by Trump is that they were made during a press conference. In this situation, the argument is that he was answering them as President of the US, and he was acting within his official capacity when he made those statements. Many analysts consider this as a reasonable argument, and Trump may be able to convince the federal judge in this matter.
This is not the first time that Trump is getting into trouble for making harsh statements. The statements that Carroll was not his type when asked about the rape allegations have brought him so much trouble in recent months. However, he never fails to surprise and comes up with such statements every now and then during his interactions with the media. Political analysts claim that Trump has already got a huge advantage by getting this postponed, and this will mean that the case will come into prominence only after the elections. In this way, he has got a huge relief from this move by the DOJ. experts also believe that if the DOJ can substitute the individual with the US as a defendant, it becomes very easy to dismiss the case. It was evident that the DOJ was waiting for Trump to win the case in the state court. When it failed, they intervened in the last minute and moved the case to federal court.