By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump cannot countersue E. Jean Carroll, a writer who says he raped her in the mid-1990s, on the ground her defamation lawsuit against him violated a New York state law intended to protect free speech, a federal judge ruled on Friday.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said a ruling for the former U.S. president would needlessly cause further delays for Carroll’s lawsuit, which began in November 2019.
He also accused Trump of engaging in “bad faith” to prevent Carroll, 78, from pursuing a case that could have been decided long ago.
“The defendant’s litigation tactics, whatever their intent, have delayed the case to an extent that readily could have been far less,” Kaplan wrote.
Letting Trump countersue “would make a regrettable situation worse,” he added.
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York: editing by Grant McCool)