Trump Wants Americans To Pay For His Defense In A Rape-Related Defamation Case

Official White House Photo / Public Domain; Screengrab / New York Magazine / YouTube ; Screengrab / NBC News / YouTube

JakeThomas

The Justice Department seeks to take over Trump's defense in a defamation suit brought by E. Jean Carroll.

The taxpayer-funded Justice Department is looking to take over President Trump’s defense in a defamation lawsuit related to an allegation of sexual assault from long before he took office.

Noah Bookbinder, a former criminal prosecutor for the DOJ's Public Integrity Section, wrote in USA Today that this is Attorney General William Barr’s “most egregious act and the logical conclusion of his campaign to remake the DOJ into Trump's personal, taxpayer-funded legal service.”

The DOJ move was shocking because it went well beyond the legal standard to argue that the president’s statements about [E. Jean] Carroll were official actions and entitled Trump to be defended by the Justice Department at taxpayers’ expense.

Last year, Trump denied Carroll’s claim that he raped her in the 1990s and said she was “not my type.

Bookbinder noted that “experts agree that the DOJ’s intervention here is unprecedented and suspect.”

But Barr’s actions are not truly shocking: his DOJ also sought a lower sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone and sought to drop the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Further, Bookbinder noted, Barr is joined by others in the administration (like Postmaster Louis DeJoy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and even the National Park Service) in catering to the president’s wishes.

The bedrock principle of our democracy rests on John Adams’ ideal that ours is a “government of laws and not of men.” Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox chose those words to remind America what was at stake after President Richard Nixon fired him during the Saturday Night Massacre. Once again, a president who believes he’s above the law has put that principle into jeopardy. Once again, we must choose to defend our democracy. Or sink into despotism.

Read the full op-ed.

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