The New York writer, E. Jean Carroll who successfully sued Donald Trump for sexual assault and defamation claims that his most recent claim—that the victim of his assault had defamed him—should be rejected.
Jean Carroll 1990s Sexual Assault
Just a few weeks after a unanimous jury granted author E. $5 million in June. Trump countersued E. Jean Carroll, claiming that Carroll’s persistent claims that he sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s amounted to slander. He notably cited a comment she made on May 10 during an interview with CNN, in which she responded, “Oh yes he did,” when asked about the jury’s decision that he didn’t rape her. He did, indeed.
E. Jean Carroll’s motion adds crucial context to her “yes he did” remark by elaborating on the fact that she was expressing her beliefs at the time the jury’s opposing conclusion was reached when she said it to the CNN interviewer.
The petition claims that a reporter asked Carroll to “talk about what you were thinking as the jury’s decisions were read off in your mind.” According to Carroll’s motion, Trump doesn’t claim that the remarks Carroll made were false, which is a crucial element of defamation.
According to the motion, E. Jean Carroll is not accused of lying about her memories by Trump. He disputes that she was being truthful when she told CNN’s reporters that she had thought, “Oh, yes, he did—oh, yes, he did,” as she listened to the jury’s decision. Trump does not also assert that Carroll misled the CNN reporters when he said that the jury had found him guilty of rape. Instead, Trump claims Carroll inferred falsely that he had sexually assaulted her by quoting her undeniable internal sentiments.
The motion also claims that Trump provided no evidence to back up his assertion that Carroll spoke with “actual malice,” and that she lacked the necessary mental condition to sustain a defamation action.
According to the lawsuit, “Trump offers no allegations about E. Jean Carroll’s thought process at the time she made the allegedly defamatory statement.” “Neither does he make any claims that are intended to back up a conclusion that actual malice was intended. Trump does not claim that Carroll lied or falsified her recollection; rather, the facts he pleads and the facts included by reference in his pleading make it difficult to conclude that she behaved with actual malice.
Is Trump Entitled to the Protection?
Tuesday saw the release of a letter from the Justice Department clarifying its stance on whether Trump is entitled to protection under the federal Westfall Act because he was president at the time of the remarks that were the focus of Carroll’s initial defamation complaint.
The evidence of Mr. Trump’s state of mind, some of which has emerged only since the Department last made a certification decision, does not establish that he made the statements in question with a more than trivial purpose to serve the United States Government,” the Department stated in its certification decision. The Justice Department was unsure of whether to back Trump in this case, as Law&Crime has reported.
In a statement sent via email to Law&Crime, Kaplan said, “We are appreciative that the Department of Justice has revised its position. We’ve always held the opinion that Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about our client in June 2019 were made out of personal animosity, malice, and spite rather than in his capacity as president of the United States. We anticipate the original case of E Jean Carroll’s being tried in January 2024 now that one of the last remaining barriers has been removed.