Trump lawyer: Protesters violated campaign's First Amendment right
© Greg Nash
President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Thursday argued that anti-Trump protesters infringed on his First Amendment right by expressing "dissenting views" at his campaign rallies.
According to a report by Politico, Trump's lawyers are asking a judge to halt an ongoing lawsuit against the president by maintaining that protesters "have no right" to voice opposing views during rallies.
Three protesters who were ejected from a March 2016 Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Ky., have sued, claiming that they were roughed up after Trump incited violence by shouting “get 'em out of here!” from the stage.
Trump’s lawyers, however, argued that the then-GOP nominee also specifically said “Don’t hurt ‘em.”
The president's legal team also maintained that Trump had every right to call for the removal of the protesters since they "interfered with the Trump campaign’s First Amendment right.”
“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,” they said.
“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," Trump's lawyers argued.
"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.”
Barack Obama appointee U.S. District Court Judge David Hale last month ruled that the lawsuit could proceed over objections from Trump's lawyers. Trump's legal team is now asking him to halt proceedings while they appeal that ruling to a higher court.