The Justice Department’s attempt to block a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump from E. Jean Carroll—a magazine columnist who has alleged he raped her—has been thrown out by a federal judge.
If the ruling had gone the other way, and the department had managed to substitute itself as the defendant instead of Trump personally, it would likely have abruptly ended the lawsuit as the federal government can’t be sued for defamation. However, the judge’s decision, which was made public Tuesday morning, means the lawsuit can go ahead.
Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump last year after he denied her allegation that he raped her inside a luxury Manhattan department store dressing room some time in the mid-1990s. Trump continues to deny the allegation, and Carroll has asked that he provide a DNA sample to the courts in order to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she says she was wearing at the time of the alleged rape.