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Federal judge says U.S. cannot replace Trump in columnist’s slander suit

The judge ruled that a law protecting federal employees didn’t apply to a president.

Updated: October 27, 2020 - 12:11pm

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A federal judge on Tuesday denied President Trump’s request that the U.S. replace him as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit alleging he raped a woman in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan follows a Justice Department request that the United States – and by extension the American people – should replace Trump as the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Government lawyers contended that the United States could step in as the defendant because Trump was forced to respond to her lawsuit to prove he was physically and mentally fit for the job, according to the Associated Press.

The judge ruled that a law protecting federal employees from being sued individually for what they do within the scope of their employment didn’t apply to a president.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, alleges in her suit that in the fall of 1995 or spring of 1996 Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, the wire service also reports.

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