Hearing about violence at Trump’s rallies was a regular occurrence during his 2016 campaign and that violence was often brought on by Trump himself.
At a rally back in March of 2016, Trump yelled, “Get ’em out of here,” referencing the peaceful protesters in the crowd, which then prompted his supporters to physically attack them. The protesters who were attacked brought suit against Trump and it looks like he’s finally going to have to pay for it — in more ways than one.
Trump’s lawyers have been using the free speech defense, but a Federal Judge isn’t buying it. Citing case law from 1960’s student protests and race riots, Judge David Hale of Kentucky, rejected motions to dismiss the case and said that Trump did indeed cite violence at his rally.
It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force. Unlike the statements at issue in the cases cited by the Trump Defendants, ‘get ’em out of here’ is stated in the imperative; it was an order, an instruction, a command.”
Trump craves the sound of people cheering him on, and no doubt probably enjoyed seeing his supporters attack people who were brave enough to show up and stand against him, so it wasn’t surprising when Trump denied wrongdoing of any sort and blamed it all on the “bad dudes” who were protesting. In fact, that phrase became a regular mantra for Trump.
We have some protesters who are bad dudes,” he said.
They have done bad things, and they are really dangerous and get in there and start hitting people, and we had a couple big, strong, powerful guys doing damage to people. … It’s usually the police, the municipal government because I don’t have guards all over these stadiums. I mean, we fill up stadiums.”
The suit against Trump also names the three individuals responsible for the attacks, one of whom, Matthew Heimbach, is a leader of the white supremacist group Traditional Youth Network from Paoli, Indiana, which will probably make it that much worse for Trump. Watching him try to squirm his way out of this one should be really fun!
Featured image via Getty/Joe Raedle