U.S. Attorney General defends backing Trump claim in defamation case

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday defended a decision by the Justice Department to continue to defend Donald Trump against a lawsuit by a writer who accused him of raping her decades ago and defaming her during his presidency.

“The job of the Justice Department in making decisions of law is not to back any administration, previous or present. Our job is to represent the American people,” Garland said during testimony before a U.S. Senate appropriations panel.

“Sometimes it means that we have to make a decision about the law that we would never have made and that we strongly disagree with as a matter of policy.”

The Justice Department, which Garland leads, has been criticized by some Democrats over decisions to continue to back positions taken by the Republican Trump administration in pending litigation.

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