A Donald Trump supporter accused of assaulting a protester at a rally acted “in response to — and inspired by — Trump and/or the Trump campaign’s urging to remove the protesters,” according to a Friday court filing.
Alvin Bamberger, 75, was named as a defendant on a lawsuit filed by Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau, who all attended a Louisville, Ky., Trump rally in 2016 to protest against then-candidate Trump. Video footage of the rally shows Nwanguma being shoved repeatedly by Bamberger.
Bamberger admits to touching the woman but denies he assaulted her. And, according to Bamberger, any action he took was the will of Trump and his campaign.
“Bamberger had no prior intention to act as he did,” the filing reads. “Bamberger would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s specific urging and inspiration.”
U.S. District Judge David Hale rejected the idea that Bamberger and white nationalist Matthew Heimbach (who Bamberger says he does not have any ties to) were agents of Trump or the Trump campaign. However, he said it remains plausible that the president may have incited a riot.
“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote in an opinion last month. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”
Bamberger’s counsel states in the filing that if Bamberger is found guilty of the charges, “Bamberger should obtain a judgment on his cross-claim, in an equal sum, against Trump and/or the Trump Campaign.” The filing calls for Bamberger’s litigation costs to be relieved, as well as an unspecified amount of “other relief to which he may be entitled.”
While on the campaign trail, Trump told his supporters to “knock the crap out of” his protesters, promising to “pay for the legal fees” — a suggestion also noted in Bamberger’s filing.
Meanwhile, also on Friday, Trump’s legal counsel responded to nearly all of the claims against the president and his campaign by saying they “lack sufficient information to respond to the allegations … and therefore deny them.”
“The Trump Defendants admit Mr. Trump said the words ‘Get them out of here,’” the filing reads. But, “The Trump Defendants deny Mr. Trump’s statement was directed at the crowd.”
Among Trump’s 15 defenses, his counsel claims, “Plaintiffs are responsible for their own injuries.” Also included as a defense, though, is a claim that they “suffered no actual injury.”
Another defense suggests Trump is immune from the charge “because he is President of the United States.”
“Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by their unclean hands,” the defenses conclude.
Trump called for violence against his protesters several times while on the campaign trail. In November 2015 after a Black Lives Matter protester was removed from an Alabama rally, Trump said in an interview regarding the incident, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
At a Las Vegas rally Trump said of one of his protesters, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
And when a protester interrupted the then-candidate at a Michigan rally Trump said, “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court. Don’t worry about it.”
He then went on to talk about how a fight between protesters and rally-goers in New Hampshire was “really amazing to watch.”
Trump told his audience he was tired of “political correctness” when it comes to handling frequent protests at his campaign events.
After the incident at the Kentucky rally, Nwanguma recounted the events that took place in an interview.
“I was called a ni**er and a [derogatory word toward women],” Nwanguma said. “I got escorted out by the police … the people at the rally were pushing and shoving at me, cursing and yelling at me. They called me every name in the book. They are disgusting and dangerous.”
A Reuters/Ipsos poll from June found that nearly half of Trump supporters are likely to describe African Americans as “violent” and more “criminal” than whites.
Nearly half of Trump supporters are likely to describe Blacks as “violent” and more “criminal” than whites, and 40 percent of Trump supporters described Blacks as more “lazy” than whites.
Diversity is also less important to Trump supporters. When asked about where they wanted to live, 36 percent of his supporters said, “I prefer to live in a community with people who come from diverse cultures.” The figures for supporters of former candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich were 46 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
Further, 31 percent of Trump supporters said they “strongly agree” that “social policies, such as affirmative action, discriminate unfairly against white people.”