A federal judge ruled there's enough evidence for a case accusing President Donald Trump of inciting a riot to move forward.
U.S. District Judge David J. Hale ruled against Trump's attorneys, who argued the case should be thrown out. The case will proceed.
The lawsuit was filed by protesters who attended a pro-Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2016 and allege they were assaulted after Trump told his supporters to "get 'em out of here."
"It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get 'em out of here’ advocated the use of force," Hale wrote, according to The Washington Post. "It was an order, an instruction, a command."
According to Hale's legal ruling, plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau were "physically attacked and forced to leave the rally after they were accosted by Matthew Heimbach and Alvin Bamberger."
Nwanguma, Shah and Brousseau are suing Heimbach and Bamberger for the assault, as well as the Trump campaign for negligence, incitement to riot and vicarious liability.
"Nwanguma, who is African-American, was shoved first by Heimbach and then by Bamberger, who also struck her," Hale's published ruling states. "Shah was likewise shoved by Heimbach and other audience members. Brousseau, a seventeen-year-old high school student, was punched in the stomach by an unknown defendant believed to be a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group Heimbach was representing at the rally."
While this was going on, Trump told his audience: "Don’t hurt ’em. If I say ‘go get ’em,’ I get in trouble with the press."
Trump's attorneys argued that Trump's call to action was protected under the First Amendment, which Hale denied.
"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.
Both Bamberger and Heimbach have admitted their role in the matter.
Bamberger, who wore his military uniform at the rally, apologized to the Korean War Veterans Association for his actions and said he regretted pushing Nwanguma, according to CNN.
Heimbach also admitted he pushed the plaintiffs, but was decidedly unapologetic.
"This is clearly a political prosecution, and it's a miscarriage of justice," he told the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to CNN. "I'm not surprised we have a biased system that favors violent and radical leftists instead of holding up justice for everyone."
Hale referred the case to federal magistrate, Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl, to move forward, including preliminary litigation, discovery and settlement efforts, reports The Associated Press.