In a new court filing, Donald Trump’s lawyers say protesters had “no right” to disrupt Trump’s campaign rallies.
The filing is part of a case brought by three protesters who say Trump’s shouting of “get ’em out of here!” caused them to be physically attacked and removed from a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville, Ky., Politico reported.
In the Thursday filing, Trump’s lawyers argue that then-candidate Trump’s calls to remove the protesters were protected under the First Amendment, and that the protesters “obviously interfered with the Trump campaign’s First Amendment right” by “vigorously expressing their disdain for Mr. Trump.”
“Of course, protesters have their own First Amendment right to express dissenting views, but they have no right to do so as part of the campaign rally of the political candidates they oppose,” the lawyers wrote. “Even if Mr. Trump implicitly instructed the audience to remove the protesters by using force if necessary, his speech was still entirely lawful and protected under the First Amendment unless he advocated a greater degree of force than was necessary under the circumstances. Absent that type of unlawful advocacy, Mr. Trump cannot be held liable for incitement. It makes no difference whether the crowd reacted with unlawful violence beyond what Mr. Trump advocated.”
They note that Trump followed his call to remove the protesters with the plea, “Don’t hurt them.”
Trump’s lawyers have asked the judge to pause the proceedings toward trial and allow them to appeal to a higher court.