Veteran accused of assault at Trump rally files lawsuit against president
In his counter-claim, filed Friday by Louisville attorney Stephen Pence, Alvin Bamberger argued that Trump and his campaign “repeatedly urged people attending” the then-candidate’s rallies to “remove individuals who were voicing opposition to Trumps candidacy.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – One of the men accused in a lawsuit of assaulting a protester at a Donald Trump rally in Louisville last year has filed a counter-claim against the president, saying “he would not have acted as he did without” Trump’s “urging and inspiration.”
Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Ohio resident, is accused of shoving Kashiya Nwanguma while she was leaving the rally. He was wearing a uniform associated with the Korean War Veterans Association.
In March 2016, three people who claim they were assaulted at the Trump rally earlier that month filed a lawsuit against Trump, his campaign, a white supremacist and Bamberger.
In his counter-claim, filed Friday by Louisville attorney Stephen Pence, Bamberger argued that Trump and his campaign “repeatedly urged people attending” the then-candidate’s rallies to “remove individuals who were voicing opposition to Trumps candidacy.”
At one rally, at least, according to the new suit, Trump or his campaign "promised to pay the legal fees of those who - following Trump's urgings - removed the protesters.
At the Louisville rally on March 1 of last year, Bamberger acknowledged he “touched” a woman but denied assaulting anyone.
If he is held liable for his actions, Pence argued in the counter-claim, it is because Trump and his campaign “inspired Bamberger to act as he did."
Pence is the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky.
Bamberger also argues that Nwanguma was not injured by his actions and her allegations “do not rise to the level sufficient to support the award of punitive damages.”
Attorneys for Trump denied wrongdoing in an answer to the original lawsuit on Friday, arguing, in part, that he is “immune from suit because he is President.”
In that response, attorneys for Trump asked that the lawsuit be dismissed and the president be awarded costs, expenses and attorney’s fees.
If anyone was injured, Trump's attorneys argue, it was not because of anything the then-candidate said during the rally.
The filing Friday from Trump’s attorneys, an “answer” to the original lawsuit, is a required step in civil litigation proceedings.
In it, Trumps’ attorneys offered 15 potential defenses; including freedom of speech, immunity and that the protesters were “responsible for their own injuries.”
Attorneys for Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau have claimed 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. Bamberger is accused of shoving Nwanguma while she was leaving the rally.
Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled last week that the suit against Trump can proceed, finding it “plausible” that Trump’s directions advocated the use of force.
But Trumps’ attorneys argued in a response to the suit filed on Friday that while he said “Get them out of here,” he was not directing his comments to the crowd.
And they said Trump told security, “Don’t hurt them.”
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.
Below is the full lawsuit:
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