Judge Rips Trump Attempt to Sue Accuser

Filing against E. Jean Carroll has been a 'bad faith' attempt to delay, ruling says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2022 3:30 PM CST
Judge Blocks Trump From Suing Carroll
E. Jean Carroll addresses reporters outside a New York courthouse in March 2020.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

A federal judge rejected Donald Trump's attempt to countersue a woman who accuses him of raping her, giving the former president an earful Friday in the process. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a 23-page ruling saying Trump's legal strategy has been executed in "bad faith," the Hill reports. "These actions demonstrate that defendant's litigation tactics have had a dilatory effect and, indeed, strongly suggest that he is acting out of a strong desire to delay any opportunity plaintiff may have to present her case against him," Kaplan wrote.

E. Jean Carroll, a writer, sued Trump for defamation while he was in office over his personal attacks after she said he raped her in the mid-1990s in a department store dressing room in New York. The suit shouldn't have taken long to resolve, the judge said. "Plaintiff's only claim in this case is a single count of defamation," Kaplan wrote. "It could have been tried and decided—one way or the other—long ago." Carroll's attorney said Friday that they "could not agree more," per CNBC. A Trump lawyer did not immediately comment.

Trump didn't try to sue Carroll for 14 months after she filed her suit. While president, he enlisted the Justice Department to take over the case for him. Kaplan rejected that strategy, a ruling that's now being appealed. His Friday decision said that any further delays would be harmful to Carroll's attempt to receive a full airing of her allegations in court. Besides, Kaplan wrote, any Trump attempt to prove in court that Carroll's suit was harassment and her rape allegation without merit would be "futile." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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