Court Throws Out Riot Claim Against Trump

Posted on:

< < Back to

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit that alleges President Trump encouraged his supporters to assault protesters at a Louisville campaign rally in 2016.

Ohio University freshman, Henry Pham, posing for a portrait during the Athens County Republican watch party in Athens, Ohio, on November 8, 2016. "I want Donald Trump to win because I agree with his immigration policy and gun control," he said.
(Carolyn Rogers/WOUB)

The three plaintiffs claimed they were pushed, shoved and punched by audience members after Trump repeatedly shouted “get ‘em out of here” during his speech at the Kentucky International Convention Center.  The then-candidate said, “See, if I say ‘go get them,’ I get in trouble with the press, the most dishonest human beings in the world. If I say ‘don’t hurt them,’ then the press says ‘well, Trump isn’t as tough as he used to be.’”

The three protesters filed the lawsuit in 2016 against Trump, alleging that he incited a riot under Kentucky law.
But the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Trump’s words were protected by the First Amendment and that he didn’t specifically encourage violence because he also said “don’t hurt ‘em.”

The decision reverses a lower court’s ruling that the case could proceed because protesters’ injuries were a direct result of Trump’s directions.