The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan in a 2-to-1 decision reversed a lower court ruling that had concluded Trump must face the lawsuit brought in Manhattan federal court by columnist E. Jean Carroll.
But it stopped short of saying the U.S. can be substituted for Trump as the defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, it asked The D.C. Court of Appeals, the highest court in the District of Columbia, to decide whether Trump’s public statements denying Carroll’s rape claims occurred within the scope of his employment as president.
Carroll maintains Trump defamed her with public comments he made after she wrote in a 2019 book that Trump raped her during a chance encounter in the mid-1990s in a Manhattan department store. Trump denied the rape and questioned Carroll’s credibility and motivations.
The 2nd Circuit said Trump would be entitled to immunity by having the U.S. substituted as the defendant in the lawsuit if it was decided that his statements came within the scope of his employment.