Appeals court sides with Trump in crucial defamation case

While former President Donald Trump is facing legal battles on a number of fronts, a federal court just handed him a major win. 

According to the Daily Caller, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that Trump meets the definition of a qualified government employee for purposes of a lawsuit filed by writer E. Jean Carroll.

The ruling

In 2019, Carroll accused Trump of having raped her in a New York City department store dressing room decades earlier.

Trump publicly denied the allegation, telling The Hill, “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”

“Totally lying. I don’t know anything about her,” he said. “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”

The Daily Caller reported that Carroll responded by filing a defamation suit against Trump later that year in which she accused the then-president of damaging her reputation through his denial.

No criminal charges

Curiously, Carroll refused to pursue criminal charges against Trump, saying she was motivated by solidarity with migrant women.

Carroll told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that seeking criminal charges would be “disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock down there without any protection.”

Monday’s ruling overturned an earlier district court decision and is important as it makes the United States government the defendant in Carroll’s suit.

“We are extremely pleased with the Second Circuit’s decision today in reversing and vacating the District Court’s finding in this matter,” Trump lawyer Alina Habba told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This decision will protect the ability of all future Presidents to effectively govern without hindrance,” the attorney went on to add.

She concluded, “We are confident that the D.C. Court of Appeals will find that our client was acting within the scope of his employment when properly repudiating Ms. Carroll’s allegations.”