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Nadler And Swalwell Try To Sabotage Trump’s Defense In Defamation Lawsuit, Demand AG Reverse Decision To Defend

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Jerry Nadler and Eric Swalwell moved to sabotage former President Donald Trump’s defense in a defamation lawsuit by demanding Attorney General Merrick Garland reverse his decision to allow the government to defend Trump. The left is furious with the AG for defending Trump and proving Bill Barr right to use the DOJ to defend Trump in the case. They spent a year complaining about Barr’s decision only to see Biden’s AG do the same thing.

Eric said announcing the move, “I joined my @HouseJudiciary colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Garland urging the DOJ to reverse its decision to act as personal attorneys for Donald Trump. Using taxpayer dollars to defend the former president is inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Jerry Nadler said: “The Justice Dept should not spend taxpayer dollars to defend former President Trump from a defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll. Their decision to do so is profoundly misguided.”

They wrote a letter trying to the Attorney General it said:

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that it would continue the previous Administration’s push to represent former President Trump, at taxpayer expense, in a defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.  That decision seems profoundly misguided.  We write to urge you to reconsider.

Although DOJ maintains that its position has nothing to do with the merits of Ms. Carroll’s case, the facts surrounding the lawsuit matter greatly in understanding the deeply problematic implications of the Department’s actions. 

Ms. Carroll alleged in an article in June 2019 that Mr. Trump sexually assaulted her inside a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York in the 1990s. 

Mr. Trump responded by denying the assault, accusing Ms. Carroll of lying about the incident, and stating that he could not have engaged in any sexual conduct with her because she was not his “type.” 

Ms. Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Trump based on these statements.  She has been waiting for more than a year and a half for the opportunity to make her case on the merits.

As a policy matter, we are concerned that DOJ has taken the position that federal officials act within the scope of their employment—and, therefore, enjoy immunity from civil liability—whenever they defame someone, so long as there is some connection between the statement and their official responsibilities. 

Are we to understand that federal employees are free to engage in private tortious conduct for personal gain, so long as they maintain federal employment and can assert some pretextual benefit to the public for their actions? 

President Trump’s disgusting comments about Ms. Carroll had nothing to do with his official responsibilities as President, and the whole world knows it. Survivors of sexual assault, among other victims, deserve better. 

Although we appreciate that the Department is constrained in the extent to which it can engage with us on matters related pending litigation, we request that you provide us with a briefing to explain the Department’s position in this case. 

We would, of course, not object if the Department changed its position before such a briefing can be arranged.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Jerrold Nadler                                                           

Zoe Lofgren

Sheila Jackson Lee                                                     

Steve Cohen

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson                                          

Theodore E. Deutch

Karen Bass                                                                  

David N. Cicilline

Eric Swalwell                                                             

Ted W. Lieu

Jamie Raskin                                                              

Pramila Jayapal

  1. Luis Correa                                                              

Mary Gay Scanlon

Sylvia R. Garcia                                                         

Joe Neguse

Lucy McBath                                                             

Greg Stanton

Madeleine Dean             

Veronica Escobar

Mondaire Jones   

Deborah Ross

Cori Bush