Donald Trump lashed out angrily on Wednesday, calling the US legal system a “broken disgrace” after a judge ruled he must answer questions under oath next week in a defamation lawsuit lodged by a writer who says he raped her.
He also called the 2019 lawsuit by E Jean Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, “a hoax and a lie”.
The outburst came hours after a US district judge in Manhattan, Lewis A Kaplan, rejected a request by Trump’s lawyers to delay a deposition scheduled for 19 October.
Carroll says Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store in the mid-1990s. He called the lawsuit “a complete con job”.
“I don’t know this woman, have no idea who she is, other than it seems she got a picture of me many years ago, with her husband, shaking my hand on a reception line at a celebrity charity event,” Trump said .
“She completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City Department Store and, within minutes, ‘swooned’ her. It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.
“Now all I have to do is go through years more of legal nonsense in order to clear my name of her and her lawyer’s phony attacks on me. This can only happen to ‘Trump’!”
Carroll is scheduled to be deposited on Friday. Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said she looked forward to filing new claims next month “and moving forward to trial with all dispatch” after New York state passed the Adult Survivors Act, allowing Carroll to sue for damages for the alleged rape without the statute of limitations blocking it.
A spokesperson for Kaplan’s firm said the “latest statement from Donald Trump obviously does not merit a response”.
Trump’s lawyers have tried various tactics to delay the lawsuit and stop him being questioned by Carroll’s attorneys. But Kaplan wrote that it was time to move forward, especially given the “advanced age” of Carroll, 78, and Trump, 76, and perhaps other witnesses.
“The defendant should not be permitted to run the clock out on plaintiff’s attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong,” he wrote.
Carroll’s lawsuit claims Trump damaged his reputation when he denied raping her. Trump’s legal team has argued that he was just doing his job as president when he denied the allegations, including when he dismissed his accuser as “not my type”.
On Wednesday, Trump said: “And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type! She has no idea what day, what week, what month, what year, or what decade this so-called ‘event’ supposedly took place. The reason she doesn’t know is because it never happened, and she doesn’t want to get caught up with details or facts that can be proven wrong.”
If Trump was acting within the scope of his duties as a federal employee, the US government would become the defendant in the original lawsuit.
The second US circuit court of appeals said last month Trump was a federal employee when he commented on Carroll’s claims. But he asked another court in Washington to decide whether the public statements occurred during the scope of his employment.
Kaplan said Trump had tried repeatedly to delay the collection of evidence.
“Given his conduct so far in this case, Mr Trump’s position regarding the burdens of discovery is inexcusable,” he wrote. “As this court previously has observed, Mr Trump has litigated this case since it began in 2019 with the effect and probably the purpose of delaying it.”
The judge noted that the collection of evidence for the lawsuit to go to trial was virtually concluded, except for depositions of Trump and Carroll.
“Mr Trump has conducted extensive discovery of the plaintiff, yet produced virtually none himself,” Kaplan said. “Completing these depositions – which already have been delayed for years – would impose no undue burden on Mr Trump, let alone any irreparable injury.”
The judge also said the deposition could be useful when Carroll’s lawyer next month files the new lawsuit. Whether the rape occurred is central to the defamation claims, as well as the anticipated new lawsuit, the judge said.