UPDATE: Attorneys for Donald Trump will fight request for deposition in Louisville civil suit
In a response on Friday, an attorney for Trump wrote he will "oppose any effort to depose the President-Elect" and asked the judge to hear arguments.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Attorneys for Donald Trump will fight a request to have the president-elect questioned under oath in a Louisville lawsuit.
Three people who filed a lawsuit claiming they were assaulted at the Louisville Trump rally on March 1, after the president-elect allegedly incited the crowd, have requested Trump be questioned in a deposition before he takes office.
Attorneys for Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau argued in a motion filed in federal court last month that they have offered to depose Trump “at a place and time of his choosing” but his lawyers have “demurred,” citing a pending request to dismiss the case.
The motion asks a U.S. District judge to set a hearing date to arrange a time for Trump to be deposed, or questioned under oath for testimony that can be used in the case.
In a response on Friday, an attorney for Trump wrote he will "oppose any effort to depose the President-Elect" and asked the judge to hear arguments on the issue.
The attorney, Kent Westberry, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. No hearing date has been set.
Attorneys Dan Canon and Greg Belzley, who represent the plaintiffs, argue that Trump’s Nov. 8 election victory and status as president-elect does not make him immune from litigation.
However, Canon said last month in an interview, "it's going to be a lot harder to get his deposition when he assumes the office of the presidency."
Shah, Nwanguma and Henry Brousseau claim they were peacefully protesting at the Kentucky International Convention Center when Trump stopped his speech and told his supporters to “get ‘em out of here.”
Matthew Heimbach, a leader with the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network, is accused of assaulting Nwanguma and Shah. Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Ohio resident, is accused of shoving Nwanguma while she was leaving the rally. He was wearing a uniform associated with the Korean War Veterans Association.
Nwanguma, a 21-year-old University of Louisville student, claims she was protesting non-violently, carrying a sign depicting Trump’s face on the body of a pig. The lawsuit alleges Nwanguma was called racist and sexist slurs and repeatedly assaulted. Heimbach and Bamberger both shoved and struck her, according to the lawsuit. A video of the incident went viral soon after the rally.
Criminal summonses have been issued for Heimbach, Bamberger and Indiana resident Joseph Pryor.
All three men have been charged with harassment with physical contact Nwanguma. The charge is a misdemeanor.
A criminal summons is signed by a judge and states the crime the person has been accused of and orders them to appear in court. However all three men live out of state and misdemeanor charges don’t allow for them to be extradited.
The lawsuit accused Trump of inciting a riot by directing his supporters to use force to remove protesters.
In July, an attorney for Trump asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the plaintiffs attended the speech to protest and "caused disturbances in the crowd," and “likely hoped that some form of violence would break out as a way to publicize their protest.”
In addition, his statement is protected by the First Amendment, according to the motion to dismiss,
"Neither Mr. Trump nor the Campaign condoned or incited violence of any kind at the Louisville speech," according to the motion. "To hold either liable for the actions of a few alleged bad apples would set a dangerous precedent that would chill core political speech by empowering hecklers to provoke violence at a political rally and then file suit against the candidate they dislike for the results of their provocation."
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