Ask E. Jean
Ask E. Jean
E. Jean Carroll v. Donald J. Trump

E. Jean Carroll v. Donald J. Trump

And....(weirdly) E. Jean Against the United States of America

According to the excellent book, Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits, James Zirin writes that Trump has sued or been sued over 3,500 times. Many people put that number around 4,000, so chances are pretty good that you may be looking for advice on suing the ex-president. I am here to help:

What You Need To Go To Court

1. A Confidence Booster

This is Sebastian, Mary Trump’s African Grey Parrot.

“A toddler with a can opener attached to his face,” is how Mary describes him. But let me tell you, Reader, this bird will bow to you like you are Anne of Cleaves, and you will never in your life feel more delightfully bucked. In addition to the bowing, Sebastian will also commit upon your person a considerable number of torts—trespassing, falsely imprisoning your jacket button, causing emotional distress by removing your fingernail, etc. etc., and, no doubt, he’s infringing on somebody’s rights as I type this, so needless to say, Sebastian will not actually accompany you on Friday, December 3rd, the day Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Alina Habba and his DOJ lawyer, Mark Freeman—the chap your tax dollars are paying for—endeavor to convince three judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the President of the United States was just doing his job when he slandered a woman who revealed that he had raped her decades earlier. (That would be Yours Truly.)

Ask E. Jean is a genius-supported publication, and you are a genius, right?

2. A Good Breakfast

And speaking of Mary Trump, if you have a court hearing, it’s best if you can get Mary to haul her carcass out of bed at some gawd-awful early hour and provide you and your friends with croissants as big as baby manatees. She will not have gotten any sleep, but you will get salted caramel chocolate eclairs, not to mention mango Earl Grey vanilla tarts so succulent that you will be surprised that Charles, the 2nd Earl Grey and British Prime Minister doesn’t appear, shove down a plateful, and leave with the bird Sebastian clamped to his riding boot.

3. Reliable Transportation

The problem: How do you shove a band of powerful, over-caffeinated women into a Prius and drive them from Mary’s digs to the Empire State Building?

The solution: Do you know Kathy Griffin? Cuz I can tell you, Reader, that Kathy, while killing on Kimmel, flying to New York and totally killing again on The View, is—the whole time—secretly arranging with Lisa Birnbach and Mary Trump to surprise you. Here is another of Kathy’s surprises: She and her husband, Randy Bick, actually fit this 990-ton tank on New York City streets.

4. Friends

Lisa Birnbach, Kathy Griffin, Jen Taub, Katie Phang, Joyce Vance, Mary Trump, and me

They arrive from Florida! Alabama! California! Massachusetts! The Upper West Side! Cocktails are downed! Hair dryers are borrowed! Weasel-men are cursed! You join together and—weirdly! incredibly! marvelously!—you are twice as strong.

From the left: Lisa Birnbach, the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post writer, and author of The Official Preppy Handbook; Kathy Griffin, the Emmy-winning, Grammy-scoring, Guinness Book of Records—most comedy specials in history—holding comedian, currently starring in Season 5 of HBO’s Search Party; Jen Taub, the legal scholar, author of Big Dirty Money, Washington Monthly writer, Law Professor at Western New England University, and former Bruce W. Nichols Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Katie Phang, the Co-Host of CNBC’s Money Court, NBC and MSNBC Legal Contributor, and trial lawyer at Phang & Feldman; Joyce Vance, the Legal Analyst at NBC News and MSNBC, podcaster of the scintillating Sisters-in-Law and Cafe Insider, UA Law School Prof, US Attorney under President Obama and Big Time Knitter; and Mary Trump, the fabled acoustic guitarist, PhD in clinical psychology, author of Two Much and Never Enough and The Reckoning, creator of the astonishing Substack The Good in Us, and the brilliant podcast, The Mary Trump Show.

As Jen Taub says: “Every woman on this planet should have a ‘don't fuck with us photo’ on file.

5. The Best Civil Rights Attorney in the Nation

This is Robbie Kaplan. She’s coming off a win so big against the Nazis in Charlottesville that the word “win” is not strong enough. Trampling is more like what this 5’1” woman did to the White Supremacists. She’s “Kaplan” of Kaplan, Hecker & Fink, and you feel proud to even know such a person. She and Joshua Matz will represent you at the hearing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

A Clean, Well-lighted Place Where You Can Listen to the Hearing

Covid restrictions will prevent you from being in the court room, so you will settle in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Conference Room at Kaplan, Hecker & Fink, and as you listen to the hearing from the 63rd floor of the Empire State Building, you will look out through the wall of windows at Succession-esque views of the city.

6. The Most Cogent Team of Attorneys Ever Assembled

Matthew Craig, Rachel Tuchman, and Ray Tolentino—they are a rather dazzling spectacle. Ray will be wearing Caribbean-blue socks with pictures of his child on them. You don’t know if it has anything to do with the socks, but Ray, who clerked for Justice Sotomayer, ascends to Partner the day of your hearing. Huddled alone with you, Matt, Rachel and Ray will explain every nuance of the hearing, and, before their legal explanations of the legal arguments give your eyes that haunted look, they will tell you to “get some lunch!”

7. A Man with a 485 IQ

This is Joshua Matz.

You have to let your brain out a notch to even begin to grok the frontal lobes on this man. The Law to Joshua is what the speed of light was to Einstein, and what the feathers were to Gypsy Rose Lee—the Fundamental Physical Constant. He may look as young as a dewy flower in the morning, Reader, but that brain of his burns about 47,889 calories an hour. He has represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in defending its certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election at the U.S. Supreme Court….He has represented Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky in defending the constitutionality of his COVID-19 public health orders at the U.S. Supreme Court…. The victims of the Charlottesville attacks in a lawsuit against white supremacists…. The victims of consumer fraud in a federal class action lawsuit against Donald J. Trump, his adult children, and the Trump Organization….The ICE detainees in a challenge to their confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic—are your eyes glazing over—Maryland and the District of Columbia in challenges to ex-President Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clauses….The City of Philadelphia in Fulton v. Philadelphia, a U.S. Supreme Court merits case involving a First Amendment challenge to the City’s contractual non-discrimination requirements for foster care providers, and shall I continue?

Joshua took a leave of absence from Kaplan Hecker to serve as Impeachment Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the second Senate trial of ex-President Trump; naturally, he previously served among counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the first impeachment and trial of ex-President Trump.

Any one of these cases would be the highlight of an attorney’s whole career. Joshua is also fun-loving, as indicated by the shirt he is wearing on vacation.

You want to hear Joshua argue why the DOJ should butt out of your case? Click the podcast arrow at the top of this letter.


If you prefer reading the transcript, here are a few lines to tell you what you’re in for:


Suppose the president is giving medals to people who were awarded medals somewhere, he puts a medal on, puts a medal on, sees somebody who insulted him and as he puts the medal on, he chokes him, he chokes him and maybe kills him or not. Is that within the scope of employment or not?


Your Honor, we would submit that if there were good reasons to believe that he had choked that person out of personal spite and malice, then, yes, that would potentially bring the president outside the scope of employment. And this is where I think the facts matter in a case like this, because at this stage in the proceedings, the allegations in the complaint have to be taken as true. And here is what that means:

The Court must accept as true and, by the way, it is true, that Mr. Trump raped my client, that he knew who she was when he did it, that he knew she was telling the truth when she came forward, and that he responded with his long-standing private modus operandi for destroying people who come forward to reveal his misconduct, and that his actions went way beyond a mere denial.

Read on. It only becomes more interesting as they dissect the phrase “Not my type.”

Carroll V Trump Court Hearing Dec 3 2021
166KB ∙ PDF file


And What Else Do You Need to Go To Court?

8. Stamina! Because Just When You Think It’s Going Good, Trump Will Try to Sue You.

And, most delectably: Here’s a little history of all our wins against Trump.

Stay tuned, Darlings!!


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What is your confidence booster?

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P.S. I don’t know a single thing about finances. But I love your pet photos!

Photo Credits: The handsome Sebastian, Jennifer Taub; the mouth-watering, butter-soaked croissant, Vishnupriya Madduri / EyeEm, Getty Images; the one and only Kathy Griffin, the inimitable Randy Bick; the building that puts dick pics into perspective, sborisov, Getty Images; Joshua Matz on vacation, the excellent Hillel Smith; E. Jean, Kathy and Mary, snapped by Martina Radwan; the goddess of Justice, Luigi R. Viggiano, Getty Images; E. Jean under the umbrella, Robert Wright.

Ask E. Jean
Ask E. Jean
Ask E. Jean is the longest, currently-running advice column in American publishing.....and now I'm dipping by big toe into a 15-minute podcast thing.