In what’s starting to look like a trend, a federal judge has once again ruled against President Donald Trump, this time rejecting a free speech defense against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at 2016 campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky.
Several anti-Trump protesters who disrupted the event filed suit afterwards, saying the candidate fostered an atmosphere of violence after they were pushed and shoved by his supporters.
Trump said from the podium at the time, “Get ’em out of here.”
More from The Associated Press:
Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who say they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.
Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump’s command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating “get them out.”
The moment in question can be seen below:
And while a reasonable argument could be made that Trump was speaking to security personnel, Louisville Judge David J. Hale saw it differently.
“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote in his decision. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”
The judge also declined to remove allegations that one of the anti-Trump protesters was the victim of racial, ethnic and sexist slurs from the crowd, according to the AP.
“While the words themselves are repulsive, they are relevant to show the atmosphere in which the alleged events occurred,” Hale wrote, suggesting it may support claims of negligence and incitement by Trump and his campaign.
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