When protesters showed up at one of Donald Trump’s campaign rallies in 2016, he told security to “Get ’em out of here.” After some other rally attendees physically attacked the protesters, three of them tried to sue the Trump campaign for “incitement to riot.”
A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the protesters don’t have a valid claim, CNN reported.
“The notion that Trump’s direction to remove a handful of disruptive protesters from among hundreds or thousands in attendance could be deemed to implicitly incite a riot is simply not plausible,” Circuit Judge David McKeague said.
‘Don’t hurt ’em’
The federal appeals court that ruled in Trump’s favor decided that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment because he didn’t instruct anyone to do anything in violation of the law. He just told security to remove them.
“In the ears of some supporters, Trump’s words may have had a tendency to elicit a physical response, in the event a disruptive protester refused to leave, but they did not specifically advocate such a response,” McKeague said.
The words Trump said after “Get ’em out of here” are also crucial to the ruling, as they totally undermine the claim of incitement of violence. Trump also said “Don’t hurt ’em” right after he called for their removal.
Who was responsible?
The original conflict was between the three protesters and the Traditionalist Workers Party, a white nationalist group that had members in attendance at the rally.
When Trump said to “Get ’em out of here,” some of the members were “attacked,” which apparently was limited to some pushing and shoving, according to CNN.
One of the men who allegedly participated in the violence claimed the accusations were a “miscarriage of justice,” but another said he regretted pushing one of the women.