From nearly the very beginning, Trump has relied upon the elite attorneys provided by the Justice Civil Litigation Department to defend him in the E. Jean Carroll case. (Garland must seriously consider contracting out to an elite firm with the government picking up the cost because otherwise, he would be in a position where DOJ is both defending Trump and prosecuting him.) Given that Trump was defended by DOJ’s lawyers and had elite representation that solidly premised his defense upon the fact that he made the statements about Carroll as part of his presidential duties. As president, he couldn’t have open allegation of rape and had to address them. Therefore he had to have immunity.
It was a powerful defense even if not necessarily a victorious one.
Probably without a thought, Trump blasted that defense out of the water when he returned to Truth Social just over a week ago to trot out the fact that he never met E. Jean Carroll and that she wasn’t his type anyway, the “she is too ugly to rape defense.” In so doing, Trump repeated the entire defamation outside the White House.
Boom. As they might say, defense gone. From a good summary in the Seattle Times:
Trump said that he had never met Carroll, that she was “totally lying” and that she was not his “type.”
Particularly offensive because rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power. There is no type.
“It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years,” Trump wrote. “And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will,
Carroll’s legal team responded:
“The latest statement from Donald Trump obviously does not merit a response,” a spokesperson for Carroll’s legal team said in a statement.
Carroll’s team will do their talking in court where they will blow up Trump’s qualified immunity defense by saying even if Trump was protected by qualified immunity, he just repeated it outside the presidency. Should they amend their complaint or just acknowledge the defense is no longer available?
A favorite legal analyst Barbara McQuade told MSNBC News that it could, on its own keep the lawsuit viable in case the judge truly considered the original protest as part of the presidential duties.
Leave it to Trump. His obsessive need to be tough and look down on women as the “powerful man” may once again keep him in trouble and not only keep the case going as one outside the presidency but might now even add a second count to the original lawsuit.
Conservative attorney George Conway summarized the situation well on Twitter:
🚨🚨 STABLE GENIUS ALERT 🚨🚨
So a woman accuses you of rape. You make a bunch of statements accusing her of lying. She sues you for defamation. Your defense (such as it is) was that you were POTUS when you made the statements so you can't be sued personally. 1/3 https://t.co/cu43DPfqDt
— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) October 13, 2022
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact with any concerns.