April 2, 2017

A Judge Rules Trump May Have Incited Violence

Aaron Blake - The Washington Post:

A federal judge in Kentucky is the latest to take Trump at his word when he says something controversial. Judge David J. Hale ruled against efforts by Trump’s attorneys to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville.

At the rally, Trump repeatedly said “get ‘em out of here” before, according to the protesters, they were shoved and punched by his supporters. Trump’s attorneys sought to have the case dismissed on free speech grounds, arguing that he didn’t intend for his supporters to use force. But Hale noted that speech inciting violence is not protected by the First Amendment and ruled that there is plenty of evidence that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s words.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ‘em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”

I recall this event, the reporting on it, and wondering if there would be repercussions from it. Mr. Trump’s words made him appear a would-be strongman, a thug unworthy of the office he sought.

If I were speaking among a group of friends and said the same about an interloper, I’d be liable for any injury done at my advocacy. I don’t know what liability Trump will suffer in the near term, as he’s president of the United States and (I think) covered by sovereign immunity. After he leaves office, though, this could come back to haunt him.

#Trump #fraud #thug #violence #criminal #liability

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