A federal appeals court declined to rule on the question of whether Trump’s alleged defamation of E. Jean Carroll was shielded because he made the comments while president.
The D.C. Court of Appeals has declined to answer whether then-President Donald Trump was acting within the scope of his employment when he allegedly defamed writer E Jean Carroll when denying her rape claim.
On Thursday the D.C. Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal employees, returned the question to federal court in New York, where Carroll brought the suit.
“We have never adopted a rule that has determined that a certain type of conduct is per se within (or outside of) the scope of employment, and we decline to do so now,” the court said.
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A ruling in Trump’s favor could set a dangerous precedent that future presidents can say anything they want, including threatening and defaming private citizens and be shielded by the presidency. Trump’s alleged defamation of Carroll had no relationship to his duties as president.
Trump’s remarks were in a personal capacity about personal legal action that had been taken against him.
Donald Trump is trying to expand the shield over presidential speech in ways that should not apply. The courts need to reject this argument so that a president can’t be placed outside the realm of accountability.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association