Trump loses immunity over Carroll’s defamation case

Trump loses immunity over Carroll’s defamation case

Trump loses immunity over Carroll’s defamation case

Former President of the United States Donald Trump can be held liable for derogatory comments he made about a woman who accused him of rape.

The US Department of Justice said its lawyers previously argued Trump was legally immune as he was president when he made the remarks in 2019.

But on Tuesday government attorneys said they no longer had “sufficient basis” to conclude Trump had acted within the scope of his duties.

The decision boosts E Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against Trump, according to CNN.

In May, Trump was ordered to pay the former magazine columnist $5m (£3.9m) after being found liable for sexual abuse of her in 1996 at a New York department store.

Ms Carroll, 79, is currently seeking $10m from Trump in a defamation lawsuit, which is due to go to trial in January.

The legal action cites his remarks as president about her in 2019 while responding to reporters’ questions.

The lawsuit has been updated to reflect further comments he made about her during a CNN town hall the day after the court’s verdict two months ago.

The justice department had previously taken the position that Trump could be defended by government attorneys because he was serving in his capacity as president when he made the remarks.

But on Tuesday its lawyers said, “There is no longer a sufficient basis to conclude that the former president was motivated by ‘more than an insignificant’ desire to serve the United States Government”.

In a letter filed with the judge presiding over the case, the justice department wrote that “Mr Trump was motivated by a ‘personal grievance’ stemming from events that occurred many years prior to Mr Trump’s presidency”.

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