Appeals court declines to support Trump's immunity claim in E. Jean Carroll rape lawsuit
Donald Trump -- (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

A federal appeals court has declined to rule on whether then-President Donald Trump was acting within his scope of employment when he allegedly defamed writer E Jean Carroll after she claimed to have been raped by him.

ABC News reported that the D.C. Court of Appeals clarified its position in response to Carroll's defamation lawsuit.

"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 in a filing.

Trump's legal team had argued that he could not be sued because he was acting in his official capacity when he said that he would not have raped Carroll because she was not his "type."

A second lawsuit that Carroll filed is scheduled to go to trial in New York on April 25. It was not immediately clear if Carroll's original lawsuit would proceed after the appeals court ruling.