How’s This For Corruption?
Yet we wonder how Trump voters will react to the latest outlandish legal action by the President. Or if they’ll react at all…
Even we will admit the outrage we feel right now is tempered by the sense that this will end up being no more than just another distraction. But one day — and it’s got to be soon — maybe people will start adding all this kind of stuff up until they have no choice but to be convinced it just isn’t normal or right. Right?
If you haven’t heard by now, the Justice Department is taking over defense of a civil suit against the President. In other words, the U.S. government will be Trump’s lawyer now in an alleged rape-related defamation case against him, not his own personal lawyers.
It’s a little complicated because the case is not expressly about the accusation of rape against Trump that allegedly occurred 20 years ago in a dressing room at a now defunct New York department store.
It’s about the fact that Trump accused his accuser, E. Jean Carroll, of “totally lying”, and claimed “I have no idea who she is.” Even though as seems to always be the case, there’s a photo of them together, which she included in a New York Magazine article last year detailing what she says happened with Trump.
So she sued him for defamation. Trump threw in for good measure as further “proof” he didn’t do it that Carroll is “not my type” anyhow. How he actually put it in an interview with The Hill even more clearly establishes his priorities:
“Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”
Yet his accuser presented a strong enough case that a judge did not see it as a nuisance, and in fact compelled Trump to cooperate, and refused to further delay his involvement. To the point at which he’d just about run out of legal options in state court.
So in comes the Justice Department to whisk it away to federal court, and for the moment also shush it up and sweep it under the rug.
That means taxpayers will be paying from now on for Trump’s defense, not Trump. And in fact, taxpayers will become the defendant, once Trump’s name is replaced with “United States”.
And while Trump always has considerable legal resources at his disposal, given how litigious he tends to be, now his resources become unlimited. And anyway, he’s more or less off the hook.
We’re not lawyers, but even if the applicable law — in this case — the “Federal Torts Claim Act” is twisted but still somehow legitimately applied here, it appears to be yet another instance where whomever wrote that law never imagined anyone would possibly contort it to use it in the way Trump is, and therefore did not expressly address this specific circumstance when they were drawing it up, because the possibility did not even enter their imagination.
Bloomberg’s take on it is “it’s not clear why the Justice Department is only now seeking to take over Trump’s defense of the suit”. And that’s pretty clearly wrong. Because the immediate objective of the maneuver is plainly obvious: preventing the possibility of Trump having to give a deposition or a DNA sample prior to the November election.
And more importantly, getting the defamation case dismissed. Which as far as we can tell is an inevitability if Trump is removed as the defendant and replaced by the United States.
Without wading too much further into complex legal waters, it also strikes us that Trump’s main argument here is as an employee of the federal government, he’s entitled to the protections offered to any employee of the federal government when acting in an official capacity. Since he called his accuser a “liar” while he was acting in his official capacity as President.
But so much of Trump’s naked corruption of federal law — including the Constitution sometimes — to suit his needs, is based on the express argument that Trump isn’t a government employee, and shouldn’t be treated as such by the Justice Department or the courts, because he actually is the full, unitary embodiment of the Executive Branch. In fact, a memo describing that theory is how Attorney General Bill Barr caught Trump’s eye and got himself hired.
But will even this latest and plain egregious example of corruption change anyone’s mind about voting for Trump? Or is Biden still the dangerous one? Or rather, the shadowy people lurking behind Biden? Like Kamala Harris of whom Trump said at a rally Tuesday: “She could never be the first woman President. She could never be. That would be an insult to our country”? Or maybe Trump’s continuous exploitation of legal loopholes will be taken as signs he’s really clever? Then again, this all resurfaces the original rape accusation; although it hasn’t seemed to hurt him yet, might it now?