American taxpayers are paying for President Donald Trump's legal bills after a Attorney General Bill Barr said that he would step in as counsel for a defamation case by another Trump rape accuser.
Barr made the announcement Tuesday and has been chased out of the news by revelations that the president intentionally downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus so people wouldn't panic.
"While the alleged sexual assault occurred long before Trump became President, the Justice Department argued that it must take over because Trump's comments spurring the defamation lawsuit came while he was in office. The move — defending Trump at taxpayer expense — comes amid ongoing criticism that the Justice Department has acted in the President's personal interests," CNN reported Tuesday evening.
In an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne explained that what Barr did was "wrong" and "an abuse of the process." Still, she said, Barr and Trump will likely get away with it until the election.
"He can legally do it," she said. "It doesn't mean it's going to work, but he can legally do it. What happens in these types of cases is classically, let's say you're an agent investigating something for the federal government you go to Houston, and you get in a car accident, and the federal government will take that over if you got in a car accident in the course and scope of your employment, your duty when you're going to your investigation. If, on the other hand, you went to a bar and got drunk and killed somebody, they don't take it over that's really what we're battling about here."
"This defamation, when this woman accused him of rape, and he came back and said not only do I not know you, you're doing this for money," she continued. "You've accused other people, and you're ugly. When he made those defamatory statements, was he acting in the course and scope of his employment? And you know, any reasonable person would say that's not what the president of the United States does in the course and scope of his employment. But Barr has done something that he's used the law in sort of an evil genius way to put this off after the election, and that's what he's done."
Reid noted that in the case of former President Bill Clinton, a rape accuser took her case all the way to the Supreme Court, saying that she should be able to sue the president for something he did before coming into office. In that case, the Court said (9 to 0) that she could sue him. Clinton didn't then use the attorney general as his lawyer.
Alksne said that in Trump's case, the suit won't be set aside and that it would continue, but Barr will likely slow the case down as much as possible until after the election.
See the video below: