Biden DOJ may defend Trump in Capitol riot lawsuits over presidents' 'sweeping immunity for comments while in office'

Biden DOJ may defend Trump in Capitol riot lawsuits over presidents' 'sweeping immunity for comments while in office'
By The White House - https://www.whitehouse.gov/scotus, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47575461

The Biden Dept. of Justice may defend Donald Trump, the former president, for remarks he made inciting the January 6 insurrection. Columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump sexually assaulted her and is suing him for defamation, is furious.

'ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?" asked Carroll, who famously posed for the cover of New York Magazine in the dress she was wearing in Bergdorf-Goodman the day she says Trump, in the 1990's, raped her in a dressing room. She is also seeking his DNA, which she says remains on the dress, to prove he raped her

"The DOJ–using the same rational they used to defend Trump in my case–may defend Trump in the Capitol Insurrection suit brought by the illustrious Representative @RepSwalwell," she tweeted.

Many were furious when then-Attorney General Bill Barr stepped in to have the DOJ take over the case, especially since the federal government cannot be sued for defamation. The case theoretically could have then been dismissed.

But it lives on, and the Biden DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, has now taken to defend the former president in Carroll's defamation case.

On Tuesday Reuters reported the Biden DOJ may defend Trump in lawsuits alleging he incited a violent coup and deadly insurrection.

"The Biden administration paved the way for that possibility, say constitutional scholars and lawyers in the cases, by arguing in an unrelated defamation case against Trump that presidents enjoy sweeping immunity for their comments while in office – and the right to a defense by government lawyers," Reuters reports.

The decision to defend the former president "has profound implications for several ongoing lawsuits, including one filed by two U.S. Capitol Police officers seeking to hold Trump liable for injuries they suffered defending the building in the Jan. 6 attack."

But noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe calls the DOJ's decision to defend the former president a legal blunder of "Titanic" proportions.

"It would be very difficult for the Justice Department to change course now," Tribe, a Harvard University constitutional law professor and a frequent critic of Trump. "The Titanic is aimed at the iceberg."

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.