Trump Defense Team Tried To Use COVID-19 To Dodge Rape Defamation Case

The Department of Justice was already seeking to take over for Donald Trump’s as defendant in a defamation case regarding a rape allegation. Now, they’re resorting to petty avoidance tricks to try to delay the case.

DOJ tries to use COVID-19 to avoid hearing
[Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

E. Jean Carroll came forward in 2019 to tell the story of Donald Trump sexually assaulting her in a department store in New York in the 1990s. Trump responded to the allegation, saying that it was a lie and generally speaking ill of Carroll — suggesting she had made a string of false accusations and that a photograph of the two together didn’t prove they’d ever met.

Carroll responded with a lawsuit for defamation, after she says she suffered employment loss and other hardships due to his attack on her character. He’s been ordered to respond to a request for DNA, to compare to a sample that she says he left on her clothing during the sexual assault.

Now the DOJ is arguing the case on Trump’s behalf, and asking a judge’s permission to replace Trump as the defendant — arguing that the President was doing his official duty when he said derogatory things about E. Jean Carroll, and that the United States should therefore be the defendant.

According to ABC, a hearing in the case was scheduled for Wednesday in the Southern District of New York. However, the Department of Justice sought another delay.

Court Reporter‘s Adam Klasfeld shared a response from the court to the motion.

The DOJ claimed that their attorney wasn’t allowed in the court, because he had traveled from Virginia, one of the states that is on a list of restricted access due to the pandemic. More specifically, they claimed it had just been added, which the judge pointed out was factually incorrect.

Having failed to either select an attorney who could be admitted to court, or quarantine their attorney in order to gain access, the DOJ was denied a delay and chose to forget oral arguments instead, despite being offered the option of having their chosen attorney attend the hearing by phone.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will make the next decision in the case — whether to allow the United States to take Trump’s place as defendant in the case —

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