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