Attorney General Bill Barr and his Dept. of Justice are taking heat after spokesperson Kerri Kupec admitted that by the DOJ taking over President Donald Trump’s rape denial case it will have killed it.
“Once the case shifts to fed court, it becomes an issue of sovereign immunity. Meaning, case over,” Kupec, a former legal counsel and communications director for the conservative Christian anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, tweeted Thursday night.
Trump is being sued by E. Jean Carroll, a journalist who is accusing the president of raping her in a Manhattan luxury goods store in the mid-1990’s. Trump denied the claim, as he often does by insisting she isn’t his “type.” Carroll sued Trump for defamation. She is represented by prominent attorney Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan, whose Supreme Court argument led to the end of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
Kupec apparently was trying to stifle dissent by noting that the federal government cannot be sued for defamation.
Many Americans are furious that Barr appears to have taken over the role of Trump’s personal attorney. By taking the case, and substituting the federal government for Trump as defendant, some are also concerned about the use of taxpayer dollars.
Kupac snarkily tried to push back against that:
Myth: By DOJ removing the case from state to fed court, taxpayers are now on the hook for funding the Carroll defamation lawsuit.
Fact: Once the case shifts to fed court, it becomes an issue of sovereign immunity. Meaning, case over. No case, no cost. https://t.co/56OU3lkVVM
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) September 11, 2020
She was unsuccessful, creating more anger and misinformation:
Here’s noted former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, now a University of Michigan Law professor and NBC/MSNBC legal analyst:
DOJ spokesperson is fighting myths with lies. Sovereign immunity applies only if DOJ prevails on sketchy claim that Trump was acting in scope of employment when he made allegedly defamatory remarks. And even if Trump prevails, there’s a lot of litigation ahead at taxpayer expense https://t.co/dKcv3eA4MQ
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 11, 2020
University of Texas Law professor of law:
Myth: Shifting the case to federal court immediately ends it, with no expense borne by the federal government.
Fact: We’re now in for significant litigation over whether the Westfall Act *applies* here—both in the district court and on appeal—for which taxpayers are on the hook. https://t.co/HUHiJjt5oY
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) September 11, 2020
Noted national security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler:
Billy Barr’s flack admits he’s covering up rape.
There you have it–the full Catholic rapist immunity play. https://t.co/9VP6oTyzax
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 11, 2020
New York State Assembly District Leader:
Fact: Kerri is lying. https://t.co/LZCjPyhrRS
— Cory Provost (@coryprovost) September 11, 2020
I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure suburban women love when the department of justice proudly admits its goal is to silence a rape case against Donald Trump I mean what female voter isn’t going to rush back to the GOP with that level of commitment to silencing a rape victim? https://t.co/YU1yyITwbK
— [REDACTED] (@quasirealSmiths) September 11, 2020
Just the DOJ spox explaining how they’re taking over defense of the case concerning rape allegations against President Trump in order to immediately shut it down and prevent it from ever being decided on the merits.
Cool, cool. https://t.co/PrM5DLnifU
— Andrew White (@AcWhite42) September 11, 2020
This is one of the dumbest argument I have ever seen from any government agency. i don’t know where you came from, but you clearly are a political hack. no one who has ever been in a courtroom or read a law book would ever say something so demonstrably idiotic.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 11, 2020
Wait, I’m no big city lawyer, but you’re saying sovereign immunity applies to defamatory statements made about activites not only outside of official duties, but related to activities which pre-date federal service.
“The King can commit no wrong”
— weaR1-a GD2 – mask, you monster (@RobertDSquared) September 11, 2020
The President gets sued for denying a rape allegation. DOJ claims immunity and sweeps it under the rug. Easy peazy lemon squeezy.
This tweet is heartless and shameless. https://t.co/hNVLkMV7qd
— Jake (@Jake_McQ) September 11, 2020
you get this is dictator shit, right?
— ryan onstott (@fmhueffer) September 11, 2020
I remember the good ole days when the DOJ was all about fighting the bad guys and standing up for justice.
Now they fight to protect the bad guys, rapists, conmen and crooks. #TrumpsAmerica
— Winston Smith (@gaslightingus2) September 11, 2020
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