The White House said Tuesday it was not given a heads-up by the Justice Department that it would continue a defense of former President Trump in a defamation suit over his denial of writer E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegations.
“The president strongly believes in the independence of the Department of Justice [DOJ]. The White House was not consulted by the Department of Justice on the decision to file this brief or its contents,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Asked if the decision upset Biden, Psaki said he’s been clear “about his view about his predecessor’s comments, about his predecessor’s language and about his predecessor’s approach and his engagement” toward the Justice Department.
The Justice Department under Trump moved to defend the then-president against a lawsuit from Carroll, who alleged Trump defamed her in denying her rape allegations. The move drew criticism from Democrats in particular who had for years complained that Trump used the DOJ and the attorney general as his personal lawyer.
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