On Tuesday, July 11, the Justice Department reversed a holding first made by the agency during Donald Trump’s term in office—saying that the ex-president is not immune from a second defamation suit by writer E. Jean Carroll, reports USA Today.
Carroll wrote about Trump’s alleged sexual assault in a 2019 memoir—accusing him of attacking her in a New York department store more than 20 years ago. The case has been mired down in appeals, many of them involving the question of Trump’s legal standing as president.
In its letter and a court filing, the Justice Department also said new evidence against Trump has surfaced since he left office—citing the recent civil trial and harsh comments that Trump made about Carroll after the verdict.
The reversal also means the Justice Department will not help defend Trump at the upcoming defamation trial, although few have predicted such a move.
Trump has alleged he did not know Carroll and accused her of making up a story to hurt him politically. The former president protested Carroll’s legal action in a Truth Social post early Wednesday, alleging “The Carroll civil case against me is a Miscarriage of Justice and a total Scam.”
After a civil trial in New York that focused on the 1996 incident itself, a jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, assessing damages adding up to $5 million. Trump has appealed that verdict.
Research contact: @USATODAY