E. Jean Carroll's one claim of defamation was "could" have been tried and determined, U.S District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stated.
Kaplan, in a written ruling filed Thursday and publicly filed Friday, cited Trump's legal strategies as the reason he rejected Carroll's countersuit under a law that is sometimes used to challenge defamation lawsuits which unfairly make claims.
Kaplan stated that a countersuit could have been filed 14-months ago.
The judge stated that "the record convinces me that this Court that defendant's litigation tactics, regardless of their intent, have delayed [the case] to an extent that easily could have been much less."
Alina Habba (Trump's attorney) responded to a request for comment by sending an email. She said, "While we are disappointed in the Court's decision today," and that she was eager to litigate this action and prove at trial that the plaintiffs' claims have absolutely no basis either in law or fact.
Roberta Kaplan, a Carroll lawyer, stated that the judge's decision was "my client E. Jean Carroll and me could not be more in agreement."
Carroll, an Elle magazine advice columnist, claimed that Trump raped him in the mid-1990s at a Manhattan department store. Trump denied the allegations and questioned Carroll’s credibility and motives.
Judge Kaplan spoke out about litigation delays and said that Trump "attempted" to evade delivery of a copy to his Manhattan home or the White House of the lawsuit after it was filed in New York State Court in November 2019. Later, it was moved to federal court.
Trump used "frivolous legal challenges" to slow down the progress of the lawsuit, according to the judge. He claimed that the state court did not have jurisdiction over him, and that the lawsuit could not proceed until an appeal in a lawsuit brought by another woman alleging sexual misconduct was resolved.
The lawsuit cannot go to trial until an appeals court determines whether Trump is the defendant or the U.S. government.
According to the judge, Trump instructed William Barr, then-U.S. attorney general, to order the United States to intervene in the case and replace itself as the defendant. The Justice Department of President Joe Biden continues to challenge the claim, and is still awaiting an appeals ruling.
The judge stated that the actions together showed that defendant's litigation tactics had a distorting effect. He also strongly suggests that he is motivated to delay any chance plaintiff might have to present her case against them.
Unless they are publicly identified by the Associated Press, people who claim sexual assault are not usually identified by them. Carroll did.
The judge pointed out that Carroll was 78 years old, and Trump is the only witness to the alleged sexual assault. He said "the relevance of these facts are obvious."
"The Court believes that describing defendant's past and threatened future actions in dilatory, bad faith, or unduly predictive would be an absurd exercise. He said that they are all three, though in different degrees.