Justice department puts itself in between president and writer who sued after Trump dismissed 1990s rape allegation as bookselling ploy

The US justice department has said Donald Trump should not be forced to defend himself against a defamation lawsuit by the author E Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her, and that the government itself should be substituted as the defendant.

In a filing with the 2nd US circuit court of appeals in Manhattan, the department said Trump qualified as a typical “employee of the government” entitled to immunity under federal law from Carroll’s claims, and was also shielded because he spoke about her in his capacity as president.

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