Here in New York, a federal judge has announced he will decide without hearing oral arguments whether President Trump can be privately sued for defamation for comments he made as president against E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. The Justice Department wants to crush the case by switching the defendant from Trump to the United States government, arguing that Trump’s denial of a rape accusation was done in his official capacity as president. Oral arguments were scheduled for Wednesday, but the Justice Department’s lawyer, who traveled from Virginia, was denied entry to the New York courtroom due to the state’s quarantine rules. The Justice Department then opted not to do oral arguments by phone. Jean Carroll criticized the government’s handling of the case.
E. Jean Carroll: “It was a stunning and shocking day. … A woman who makes a complaint against a powerful man — women in this country must be assured that her case will not be tossed off to the DOJ.”