Mar 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge rejects Trump's bid to countersue accuser E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll in the New York State Supreme Court on March, 4, 2020.

E. Jean Carroll. Photo: Alec Tabak/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Friday lost his bid to countersue writer E. Jean Carroll, who sued Trump for defamation after he branded her a liar for publicly alleging that he raped her in the mid-1990s.

Driving the news: Manhattan federal court Judge Lewis Kaplan said Friday that Trump's attempt to countersue was done in an effort to stall Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, according to court filings.

  • "The record convinces this Court that the defendant’s litigation tactics, whatever their intent, have delayed the case to an extent that readily could have been far less," Kaplan wrote.
  • The judge also said that if he granted Trump's motion, it "would make a regrettable situation worse by opening new avenues for significant further delay."

What they're saying: "As the Court said in its opinion today: a ‘characterization of [Trump’s] previous and threatened future actions as dilatory, in bad faith or unduly prejudicial would be a bootless exercise. They are, in varying degrees, all three," Carroll’s attorney Roberta A. Kaplan said in a statement.

  • "Judge Kaplan further noted that this case ‘could have been tried and decided — one way or the other — long ago.’ My client E. Jean Carroll and I could not agree more."
  • Trump's legal team did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

State of play: The defamation case is on hold while an appeals court decides whether the lawsuit can proceed, CNN reports.

  • Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he called her a liar for her claim that the former president raped her in a New York department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
  • Trump's legal team argued that Trump cannot be held personally liable for "crude and disrespectful" comments about Carroll because he was president at the time.

Go deeper: Judge denies Trump's request to delay defamation suit

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