Lawsuit Filed Against Trump For Inciting Violence
Lawsuit Filed Against
Trump For Inciting Violence
Remember those revved up Trump rallies last year where his supporters were seen openly hitting and spitting on protesters while Trump himself egged them on? Well, Donald’s actions not only won him the presidency but also a big, fat lawsuit.
Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by attendees at Trump’s command during a March 1, 2016, rally in Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the melee was captured on video and widely broadcast across social media during the campaign, clearly showing Trump pointing at the protesters and calling for his supporters to “get them out.” Now, a lawsuit has been filed against Trump for inciting violence.
Trump and his lawyers pulled out all the stops in an attempt to prevent the lawsuit from proceeding. They argued that Trump had a right to remove protesters from his event, that getting tickets to the rally waived their claims, and that their “claims are barred by their unclean hands.” They also presented a “free speech defense” against the lawsuit and claimed Trump is immune from any civil action for as long as he is in The White House. However, a judge recently delivered “The Donald” a bit of bad news: the suit is a go!
Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled that the suit against Trump, his campaign and 3 of his supporters will proceed. Judge Hale found sufficient facts in support of the allegations that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.
“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” the judge wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”
Plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah, and Henry Brousseau stated in the suit that they were physically attacked by several Trump supporters, including Matthew Heimbach, Alvin Bamberger and an unnamed defendant they have not yet been able to identify.
Bamberger wrote in the lawsuit that he “physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit” after “Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out.” He also apologized to the Korean War Veterans Association for wearing the uniform during the attack.
Heimbach attempted to dismiss the lawsuit’s mention of his association with a white nationalist group and of statements he made about how Trump could advance the group’s interests. However, the judge declined, saying such information could be important in determining punitive damages.
Judge Hale also declined to remove allegations that Nwanguma (an African-American) was the victim of racial, ethnic and sexist slurs from the crowd at the rally, but instead sided with the plaintiffs’ claims of negligence and incitement by Trump and his campaign.
“While the words themselves are repulsive, they are relevant to show the atmosphere in which the alleged events occurred,” Hale wrote.
Trump’s lawyers argued that their client never ordered his supporters to rough up the protesters.
“The Trump Defendants deny that Mr. Trump directed his statement to the crowd,” the lawyers wrote.
However, Bamberger’s lawyers stressed that “to the extent that Bamberger acted, he did so in response to — and inspired by — Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s urging to remove the protesters.”
They added that Bamberger “had no prior intention to act as he did” and “would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s specific urging and inspiration.”
Bamberger’s argument coincides with the protesters’ claims that Trump whipped up his supporters to act against them — and the judge agreed. Bamberger’s lawyers also reminded the judge that Donald Trump offered to pay damages for any supporter who fulfilled his call to “get ’em out of here.” As such, they have petitioned that if there is a monetary judgment against Bamberger, Donald Trump and/or his campaign should be forced to bear the cost of it as promised.
As Donald Trump prepares to almost certainly lose this lawsuit, he’s likely pondering the words of “Ralph Kramden” from the old TV show, The Honeymooners: “Me and my BIG MOUTH!!!”