According to BuzzFeed News, the Department of Justice is continuing the efforts to take over the legal defense of former President Donald Trump in a defamation case from advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has alleged the former president raped her in a department store in the 1990s.
Last year, a federal judge ruled the DOJ could not take over Trump's defense; however, the litigation over the matter is ongoing.
"On Monday, lawyers for the Justice Department as well as Trump's personal legal team were due to file the next round of briefs — marking the first major deadline for the department under the new administration to weigh in," reported Zoe Tillman. "In the government's latest brief, the Justice Department lawyers continued to press arguments that the lower court judge got it wrong when he concluded that Trump wasn't shielded from being sued and was acting within the scope of his official duties as president when he accused Carroll of lying."
As the report noted, "DOJ's effort to intervene in the case last fall was widely criticized as a misuse of government resources on behalf of Trump. During a nationally televised town hall event in October, Biden had highlighted the Carroll case as an example of Trump trying to use the Justice Department as his 'own law firm.'"
There is no indication Biden himself supports or was aware of this effort, as he pledged not to involve himself in the day-to-day affairs of the Justice Department — something for which Trump had been broadly criticized. However, according to the report, "government attorneys wrote, Carroll's case dealt with when and how federal laws meant to protect federal employees applied to a sitting president, which were 'questions that implicate the institutional interests of the federal government.'"
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