A Kentucky federal judge has made a decision on the lawsuit filed against Donald Trump for the violence that occurred at a Kentucky rally during his presidential campaign.
Friday, U.S. District Judge David J. Hale made a ruling… the lawsuit is allowed to move forward.
Three protesters from the rally allege that they were there demonstrating. At some point, Trump screamed:
“Get ‘em out of here!”
Molly Shah, Kashiya Nwanguma and Henry Brousseau, the plaintiffs, say they were attacked by several people in the audience, including a white supremacist right after Trump’s rant.
In Friday’s ruling, Judge David J. Hale, wrote in his decision that Trump:
“…intended for audience members to act on his words.”
Therefore, he should be held accountable for the violence that occurred after he ordered that the crowd kick the protesters out of the March rally. He effectively shot down Trump’s attorney’s requests that the lawsuit be dismissed.
Anti-Trump protesters are pleased that the now-President’s calls for violence may come back to haunt him… in court.
As the alleged assault occurred, Trump said, “Don’t hurt ’em. If I say ‘Go get ’em,’ I get in trouble with the press.”
Trump’s lawyers fought for the case to be thrown out, arguing that Trump intended no violence and that his statements were only directed at security personnel.
But the judge didn’t buy that.
“Presumably, if he had intended for protesters to be escorted out by security personnel, Trump would have instructed the intervening audience members to stop what they were doing, rather than offering guidance on how to go about it,” Hale wrote in his decision.
“(I)t is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force…it was an order, an instruction, a command,” the judge added.
The protesters have accused Trump and his campaign of inciting a riot and negligence, and are seeking unspecified damages. They are also suing three audience members — including Matthew Heimbach, a leader of the white supremacist group Traditional Youth Network — for assault and battery.
The judge denied the protesters’ claim that Trump is personally liable for the actions of his audience. But the order supports their claim that Trump was “particularly reckless” in his demands, especially since there was a hate group in his crowd and one of the protesters is black.
“In sum, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that their harm was foreseeable and that the Trump Defendants had a duty to prevent it,” the order says.
Trump’s attorneys did not comment on the ruling.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly encouraged violence against his protesters — often issuing orders even more explicit than those in this lawsuit. At some of his rallies, Trump told supporters to “knock the crap out of” a protester and waxed nostalgic about the “old days” when a protester would be “carried out on a stretcher.”
He even offered to pay the legal fees for any supporter charged for violence, though it remains unclear if he ever delivered on that promise.
Trump’s fans sometimes took him at his word, and there were numerous instances through the campaign of protesters — including some tied to the Black Lives Matter movement — being beaten and forced out of rallies.