If the legal world had an equivalent of the “cone of shame” veterinarians force dogs to wear so they don’t bite at their stitches, they’d no doubt be fitting Donald Trump for just such a contraption as we speak. It’s no wonder Rudy Giuliani, a once-acclaimed litigator who now boasts the legal acumen of a Sea-Monkey drowning in a pail of scotch, is about the only lawyer he can find these days.
One of the roughly 26 sexual misconduct accusations that have been leveled against Trump involves journalist E. Jean Carroll, who claims Trump raped her in a New York department store in the mid-’90s. Carroll has sued Trump, saying that his denial of the alleged rape—which included Trump’s standard, and totally depraved, “she’s not attractive enough to rape” defense—amounted to defamation.
Well, it looked for a time like Trump might squirm out of this one, in part because his allegedly defamatory statements were made while he was cosplaying as president. It was an absurd argument, but it appeared to be the best defense he had.
Yeah, well, about that …
A Tuesday report from VICE News suggests Trump really stepped in it when he repeated the denial at the heart of Carroll’s defamation suit. After a judge ruled last week that Trump must answer questions under oath on Oct. 19 in connection with the lawsuit, Trump freaked out, writing, in part, “[Carroll] completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City Department Store and, within minutes, ‘swooned’ her. It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.”
Well, it turns out that’s about the worst thing he could have possibly “Truthed.”
Trump’s lawyers have argued for months that he can’t be held personally responsible in the suit because his denial took place during his presidency, and therefore fell under his official duties as president. But by repeating his denial last week in an online tirade posted on his social media site, Truth Social, and blasted out in an emailed statement, Trump essentially re-upped the activity at the heart of the lawsuit—at a moment when he’s not the president anymore.
In other words, Trump may have just kicked the legs out from under one of his strongest legal defenses, according to Barbara McQuade, who previously served as Detroit’s top federal prosecutor.
“She [Carroll] should amend her complaint to include an additional count based on the new statement,” McQuade told VICE News. “Because Trump is no longer president, this statement was most certainly not made in the scope of his federal employment.”
Indefatigable Trump taunter George Conway has more:
For the nontweeters:
GEORGE CONWAY: “So a woman accuses you of rape. You make a bunch of statements accusing her of lying. She sues you for defamation. Your defense (such as it is) was that you were POTUS when you made the statements so you can't be sued personally.
“You litigate that FOR YEARS. You still have a chance at winning that argument. Meanwhile, the judge orders you to be deposed anyway. YOU GET BIG MAD. SO WHAT DO YOU DO??
“You issue a BRAND NEW statement REPEATING all the earlier defamatory statements, but since you're no longer POTUS, you NO LONGER HAVE THAT DEFENSE you've been pushing for years that you made the statements while you were president!!!
Well done, Mr. Magoo! Say, can you just shoot someone on Fifth Avenue already so we can close out this refulgent chupacabra fart of a timeline?
Godspeed to Ms. Carroll. She’s presumably been waiting for justice for a long time, and it must be infuriating to see this clammy wad of iniquity continually getting away with his evildoing. Or somewhat more infuriating for her, anyway, than it is for the rest of us.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.