The leader of a white supremacist group captured on video forcing an African-American protester out of a Donald Trump rally in March 2016 was one of several people sued by the woman for assault and battery, according to several lawsuits obtained by Politico and reviewed by LawNewz. Trump can be heard on several videos taken at the rally telling his attendees to “get’em outta here,” referring to the protesters.
One of the protesters, Kashiya Nwanguma, originally filed a lawsuit in state court and it moved its way to federal court where things got interesting. Her lawsuit accused several defendants, including white nationalist Matthew Heimbach, of committing assault and battery, based in part on what was captured on video.
However, Heimbach, acting as his own attorney, filed a cross-claim in federal court in Kentucky on Monday that generally denies the assault and battery allegation file by Nwanguma. However, he also claims that in the even if he is found guilty, he simply “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of DONALD J. TRUMP and DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT lnc. and any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.”
Additionally, Heimbach pleaded that he “acted, if at all, pursuant to the authority and direction of the person or persons who had lawful possession of the premises [Donald Trump for President, Inc.] and was privileged to use reasonable means to remove persons who were disrupting the rally.”
As part of his cross-claim, he accuses the plaintiff protester and others of only appearing at Trump events “for the stated purpose of disrupting the TRUMP rallies by means of interfering with the 1st Amendment rights of TRUMP and the attendees by noise, signs, name calling and pushing and shoving against TRUMP supporters, all under the fraudulent guise of ‘ peaceful protest.'” Furthermore, he alleged “if HEIMBACH is found legally liable to PLAINTIFFS, or any of them, for any amount, HEIMBACH requests that he be indemnified by the TRUMP DEFENDANTS, having relied on their expertise and authority to request and authorize the actions taken.”
According to Politico, Heimbach did not respond to comment nor did The White House press office prior to publication.
The response is similar to the filing of another defendant, Korean Veteran Association President Alvin Bamberger, who filed a similar response through counsel on Friday that denies assaulting anyone, but admits he did touch a woman. Yet, much like Heimbach’s filing, Bamberger’s lawyers included a cross-claim against Trump that states, “Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump and/or the Trump Campaign repeatedly urged people attending Trump political rallies to remove individuals who were voicing opposition to Trump’s candidacy (the protesters).”
He further claims that he “would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s specific urging and inspiration . . .”
And Bamberger’s lawyers stressed that “to the extent that Bamberger acted, he did so in response to — and inspired by — Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s urging to remove the protesters.” They added that Bamberger “had no prior intention to act as he did” and “would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s specific urging and inspiration . . . and, “To the extent that Bamberger acted, he did so in response to — and inspired by — Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s urging to remove the protesters.”
Trump’s legal team is defending the case vigorously in the courts.
[image via screengrab]