Politics

'Free Speech' Won't Help Trump With New Lawsuit

| by Brendan Kelly

A federal judge ruled that free speech is not a relevant defense in a lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump that accused him of inciting violence against campaign protesters.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 1, 2016, in which three protesters said they were physically harmed by Trump's supporters, the Chicago Tribune notes. The president's lawyers claimed he didn't intend for his supporters to become violent.

During the incident, Trump reportedly pointed at the protesters and demanded that his supporters "get them out."

"It is plausible that Trump's direction to 'get 'em out of here' advocated the use of force," Judge David J. Hale wrote in his decision to reject Trump's defense. "It was an order, an instruction, a command."

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The plaintiffs, Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau, all alleged that they were attacked by supporters that included Matthew Heimbach, Alvin Bamberger and another unidentified individual.

Bamberger ultimately apologized for his role in the altercation, saying that he "physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit" after Trump said to get the protesters out.

Heimbach attempted to dismiss revelations that he is associated with a white nationalist group, though the judge decided to leave the information in the suit.

"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 judge wrote.

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Meanwhile, President Trump made headlines for asserting that the U.S. would take on North Korea independently if China failed to put any pressure on the country to end its nuclear program.

When asked how he would handle the issue, Trump declined to offer any information.

"I’m not going to tell you," Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times published on April 2, according to The Guardian. "I am not the United States of the past where we tell you where we are going to hit in the Middle East."

The President clarified, however, that he had "great respect" for China.

"I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so," he said. "China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone."

Trump added that "trade is the incentive" in getting China to help. 

Sources: Chicago Tribune, The Guardian /  Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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