President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has made the surprising decision to continue the previous administration’s efforts to defend Donald Trump against a defamation suit brought by woman he’d accused of lying about being raped by him. As a presidential candidate, Biden had criticized the agency’s involvement in the case.

In its latest brief on Monday, Justice Department lawyers continued to argue that Trump was just another employee of the federal government when he accused columnist E. Jean Carroll of lying — a move that led Carroll to file a defamation lawsuit against the then-president. Carroll wrote in a June 2019 New York Magazine article and reiterated in her lawsuit that Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store’s dressing room in the 1990s.

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