Politics

Trump Claims He Can't Be Sued For Rally Violence

| by Sean Kelly

Lawyers for President Donald Trump argued that he cannot be sued for inciting violence at his rallies.

"Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States," Trump's lawyers wrote in a federal court filing after a lawsuit was brought on by three protesters, The Hill reported.

The plaintiffs in the suit said they were removed from a Louisville, Kentucky, rally by Trump supporters in March of 2016 and roughed up in the process. The protesters sought damages from two supporters, the Trump campaign and Trump himself, for allegedly encouraging violence at the rally by shouting "get 'em out of here!"

In a separate lawsuit brought on by Trump supporter Alvin Bamberger, who was seen pushing a young African American woman during a rally, Bamberger's attorneys said that their client acted "in response to -- and inspired by -- Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s urging to remove the protesters."

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Previously, New York Magazine reported that a federal judge ruled against Trump's lawyers and allowed the lawsuit to proceed after the lawyers sought to have it thrown out on the grounds that Trump's statement was protected by free speech.

"The Court finds that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that their harm was foreseeable and that the Trump Defendants had a duty to prevent it," Judge David J. Hale wrote in his ruling.

The ruling came after a federal judge in Hawaii rejected a request from the president's lawyers to evaluate his travel ban executive order without looking at campaign comments about the ban and its targeting of Muslims.

When rejecting the first travel ban, courts cited former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's comments about Trump's attempts to make the Muslim ban idea happen legally.

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"So when first announced it, he said, 'Muslim ban,'" Giuliani said. "He called me up. He said, 'Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally."

Previous rhetoric was again cited when a second travel ban was issued and struck down by federal courts -- this time from adviser Stephen Miller, who claimed that the new ban was essentially the same as the first.

"Fundamentally, you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country, but you're going to be responsive to a lot of very technical issues that were brought up by the court, and those will be addressed," Miller said, The Washington Post reported. 

"But, in terms of protecting the country, those basic policies are still going to be in effect."

Sources: The Hill, New York Magazine, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

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