DOJ Dumps Trump In E. Jean Carroll Federal Defamation Suit

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The Department of Justice has officially filed with the court not to represent Donald Trump in E. Jean Carroll’s federal defamation lawsuit.

Lisa Rubin of NBC News tweeted:

And here is the announcement.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) July 11, 2023

“because he was no longer the President when he made the later statements, Mr. Trump could not have been motivated by any interest in serving the United States Government.” 4/

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) July 11, 2023

As I wrote in May when the DOJ first signaled that they would be dumping Trump:

When E. Jean Carroll amended her complaint to include potentially defamatory statements made by Trump at his recent CNN town hall, it opened the door for the DOJ to walk away from representing Trump because the issue in the case is no longer when Trump made the initial defamatory statements about Carroll while acting as president.

As an ex-president, Trump has no official capacity and thus no immunity, so the question of whether or not his statements were protected speech as a government official is irrelevant, but the lawsuit now includes statements that Trump made after he left office.

Trump defamed Carroll during his CNN town hall, and once Carroll added those further attacks to her defamation suit, the DOJ had the opening that it needed to dump Trump.

Once Donald Trump acted outside the presidency to defame Carroll, there was no longer grounds for the Department of Justice to represent him.

The only reason why the DOJ would have been involved in the case centered on the question of the degree of protected speech when a president is acting in their official capacity.

Because Trump could not keep his mouth shut, he lost his government lawyer and will have to find private representation in a federal lawsuit that if he loses could cost him tens of millions of dollars.

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