Donald Trump

Barr Defends DOJ Involvement in Trump Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Barr made the comments in an exclusive interview with "NBC Nightly News"

William Barr, U.S. attorney general, right, speaks during a Medal of Valor and Heroic Commendations ceremony with U.S. Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. The Medal of Valor was given to six Dayton police officers who stopped the Ohio mass shooter last month and five civilians received heroic commendations for having helped others while a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr on Wednesday defended the Justice Department's involvement in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump brought by E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s, NBC News reports.

In an exclusive interview with "NBC Nightly News," Barr said that under federal law it is "not particularly unusual" for the Justice Department to step in when an elected government official is sued civilly in court.

"Yes, that's the so-called Westfall statue, which says that if someone is an employee of the executive branch or the legislative, and they are sued for a state tort that occurred in the course of them working for the government — of their duties for the government — then they can have it certified to be moved to federal court, and the United States is then substituted as the party," Barr said.

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