So endeth the easy end, in a manner of speaking. Yesterday’s decision cuts off a convenient escape route for Donald Trump, who faces a defamation suit from E. Jean Carroll. She alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her decades ago in a department-store dressing room. Trump called her a liar, which prompted the lawsuit and gave Carroll a legal forum for her allegation, as the statute of limitations on the assault allegation had long since passed.
The decision by US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan has nothing to do with the merits of Carroll’s case or any demerits of it, either. The Department of Justice attempted to use the Westfall Act to take over Trump’s defense and transfer it from New York to federal jurisdiction for the sole purpose of using Westfall to torpedo the suit. That would have provided a quick and convenient end to the case, theoretically speaking:
Myth: By DOJ removing the case from state to fed court, taxpayers are now on the hook for funding the Carroll defamation lawsuit.
Fact: Once the case shifts to fed court, it becomes an issue of sovereign immunity. Meaning, case over. No case, no cost. https://t.co/56OU3lkVVM
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) September 11, 2020