President Donald Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll and her lawyers arrive for her hearing at federal court during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the New York, October 21, 2020.Carlo Allegri | ReutersA federal judge on Tuesday rejected an effort by the Department of Justice to have the United States goverrnment replace President Donald Trump in a lawsuit in which he is accused of defaming writer E. Jean Carroll after she said he raped her in the mid-1990s.The DOJ had argued that Trump was acting in his capacity as a government employee when he said Carroll was lying and motivated by money after she say he attacked her in a New York department store dressing room.Because of that, the DOJ said, the government should be the defendant in Carroll’s civil lawsuit, not the president.Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday flatly rejected that argument, days after a bizarre aborted court hearing in which a Justice Department lawyer refused to orally argue his claim on the telephone on the heels of being denied entry into the courthouse because of New York coronavirus restrictions.”The President of the United States is not an employee of the Government within the meaning of the relevant statutes,” Kaplan wrote in an order released in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.”Even if he were such an employee, President Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements concerning Ms. Carroll would not have been within the scope of his employment. Accordingly, the motion to substitute the United States in place of President Trump is denied.”The ruling comes a week before Election Day. Trump is battling former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, for a second term in the White House.The president in recent months has lost several legal battles in New York.In one case, a federal judge denied his effort to bar Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. from executing a grand jury subpoena for getting Trump’s income tax returns from an accounting firm. Trump plans to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the subpoena ruling.In another case, the Trump Organization lost a bid to delay a deposition of the president’s son, Eric Trump, in an investigation being conducted by the New York state attorney general’s office into the valuation of Trump-owned properties for tax and other purposes.This is breaking news. Check back for updates.