Judge Rejects Trump’s Defense Against Claim He Incited Violence

Judge Rejects Trump’s Defense Against Claim He Incited ViolenceJudge Rejects Trump’s Defense Against Claim He Incited Violence

A Kentucky federal judge has ruled that a startling lawsuit accusing US President Donald Trump of inciting violence at a campaign rally can proceed.

The suit was brought by three protesters who say they were roughed up by three men provoked by Trump.

Trump told the audience at the time to “get ‘em out of here,” referring to the protesters—two women and a teenage boy—at a rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville last March. The confrontation that followed was caught on video that went viral, Huffington Post reported.

Trump’s attorneys argued that the suit should not be allowed to go forward because his speech was protected under the First Amendment and that he didn’t intend for violence to occur.

Judge David Hale ruled that the protesters’ injuries may have been “a direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions and that there is no First Amendment protection for speech that incites violence.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote in his ruling issued on Friday. “It was an order, an instruction, a command. Trump’s statement at least implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action.”

One of the men accused in the attack said in a letter cited by the judge: “Trump kept saying, ‘get them out, get them out,’ and people in the crowd began pushing and shoving the protesters. I physically pushed a young woman.”

Plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau are suing Trump and the Trump campaign for incitement to riot, negligence, gross negligence and recklessness, and are seeking unspecified damages.

The judge dismissed part of the suit claiming that Trump and the campaign were “vicariously liable” for assault and battery.

Hale said that the men who apparently attacked the protesters—who are also being sued—were not employed by the Trump campaign, nor were they under Trump’s direct control.

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