Donald Trump is reportedly pursuing a swift end to a defamation lawsuit brought by a journalist who claims the former president raped her.
What Happened: On Wednesday, Trump lawyer Alina Habba asked a federal judge in Manhattan to replace the United States as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by Jean Carroll, reported Reuters.
Habba wrote to U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattana lower court judge’s ruling that Trump was not protected by federal law that offers immunity to federal employees arising from incidents related to work.
In her letter, Habba said the appeals court ruling meant the government "must be substituted as a defendant,” according to Reuters.
Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said “nothing has changed” in response to Trump’s move and asked the case go ahead, according to the report.
Why It Matters: Should the judge allow the United States to be substituted as a defendant, it would end Carroll’s lawsuit because the government can’t be sued for defamation, noted Reuters.
The request from Trump’s lawyer assumes significance as the circuit court said Trump was a federal employee when he called Carroll a liar but left it to an appeals court in Washington to decide if he acted as president when he spoke, according to Reuters.
Habba reportedly asked the judge to put the case on hold saying it would be "highly prejudicial" for Trump to prepare for the trial if the Washington court ruled in his favor.
Carroll’s lawyer wrote to Judge Kaplan last week saying their clientfor sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress.
Trump’s legal troubles couldof his 2024 presidential run, according to a prior report. However, it has not deterred the former U.S. leader from saying on Truth Social that he was ahead of President Joe Biden in three states.
Truth Social is a part of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) — a company set to go public through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:DWAC).