Appeals court declines to give Trump immunity in lawsuit from rape accuser
Donald Trump (Adrian Dennis/AFP)

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declined to rule that former President Donald Trump is immune from a defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll related to rape allegations.

Reuters reported that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a 2-1 decision asking a higher District of Columbia appeals court to examine the case.

Carroll, a former columnist, sued Trump in 2019 after he told a reporter, "she's not my type," in response to rape allegations.

"As relevant here, the question touches upon the duties of the President of the United States, and the personal tort liability he and his successors may (or may not) face under the Westfall Act. Getting the law of the local jurisdiction right is, therefore, of crucial importance, and only the highest local court is capable of making such a determination," the 57-page ruling explained.

According to Reuters, the appeals court "also handed Trump a victory in declaring he was a U.S. government 'employee' when he allegedly defamed Carroll, a condition underlying his immunity claim."

Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll, was "confident" that the Washington appeals court would let the case go forward.