A white nationalist accused of assaulting a protester at a Trump campaign rally last year countersued, claiming he was following the "directives and requests of Donald J. Trump."
Matthew Heimbach, a leader of the white nationalist group Traditionalist Youth Network, was accused of assaulting three protesters alongside two other Trump supporters at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2016. Heimbach claims in his court filing if he is found liable, Trump should take responsibility, Politico reports.
Judge David Hale recently ruled Trump's language during the rally could count as incitement. Trump said at the rally, "Get 'em out of here... Don't hurt 'em. If I say 'Go get 'em,' I get in trouble with the press."
Heimbach, who is representing himself, denied physically assaulting any protesters, but blamed the protesters for "provoking a response" by attempting to "disrupt a free assembly." Three protesters sued Heimbach, two other Trump supporters and accused Trump of incitement, which Heimbach's filing may support.
Trump's lawyers claimed that the calls to "get 'em out of here" were orders for his security team, not the supporters. They also argue that the president is immune to civil lawsuits.
Defendant Heimbach acted, if at all, in reasonable defense of others.
It's not the first time Trump's campaign language has caused legal difficulties. His travel ban has been twice rejected by judges who pointed to his campaign promise of a "Muslim ban."