In your Party of Personal Responsibility news today, an update on that lawsuit by three anti-Trump protesters who are suing two men who beat them up at a Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2016; the suit also names the Angry Orange One and his campaign for inciting the Nazi dudes. This didn’t sit well with one of the Nazi dudes, Matthew Heimbach, leader of the Traditionalist Workers Party, who Monday filed a counterclaim insisting he’s not responsible for beating up any protesters — he was only acting on the orders of his beloved leader, Donald Trump, who was yelling “Get ’em out! Get ’em outta here!”
Personal responsibility is very important to your rightwing guys, and Matthew Heimbach simply wants the world to know Donald Trump was personally responsible for the actions of Matthew Heimbach and his racist buddies. Or in the formal language of the countersuit — Heimbach’s representing himself, so you know he’s a top-notch legal mind — Heimbach denies that he assaulted anyone, but that if he did do anything at the rally, he “acted, if at all, in self defence,” and that he also “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of DONALD J. TRUMP and DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT lnc. [sic] and any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.” So, yes: He did nothing, but if he did, it was both in self-defense and he was only following orders.filed the original lawsuit, Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau, who were there to interfere with Trump supporters’ first Amendment rights “by noise, signs, name calling and pushing and shoving against TRUMP supporters, all under the fraudulent guise of “peaceful protest.” But there’s more! Since these agitators were everywhere, it was the usual practice of Trump and his campaign to enlist Trump supporters “to assist in the removal of so called ‘demonstrators’ and ‘protestors.'”
Heimbach then goes on to list any number of Trump’s greatest incitement hits, like his Iowa urging of the crowd to “knock the crap out of” anyone who was “getting to throw a tomato,” along with Trump’s promise to pay their legal fees. And then there was Trump’s nostalgia, at a February 2016 Las Vegas rally, for the good old days, when you could punch troublemakers in the face: “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to a guy like that in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher.” And so on, eventually pointing out that Donald Trump is such a smart rich businessman that only a fool would fail to follow his commands:
HEIMBACH relied on TRUMP”s [sic] reputation and expertise in doing the things alleged. HEIMBACH relied on TRUMP’s authority to order disruptive persons removed and that TRUMP was legally within his rights to ask other attendees to assist in defending their constitutional rights against “protestors” who were disrupting.
It’s a pretty good bit of fan fiction. Poor Matt Heimbach, who shortly after the rally bragged on his Naziblog about how he’d bravely helped Donald Trump restore order, though it may have looked a little rough, as the New York Daily News reported:
“[Video] features yours truly helping the crowd drive out one of the women who had been pushing, shoving, barking, and screaming at the attendees for the better part of an hour,” he wrote in a post on the website for the Traditionalist Youth Network, a group that promotes white supremacy.
“Taken out of context, the elderly veteran, several others in the crowd, and I appear to be roughing up the woman because she’s black,” he wrote.
Yeah, we can see why it might look that way. For that matter, we can see why it looked more than a little bit like the integration of Little Rock High School in 1957, as Shaun King noted at the time:
You can see what a threat Ms. Nyanguma is posing to the Trumpers there; shortly after the rally, Yr. Editrix described her as a “poised young black woman who floated serenely through the angry, male — and military — crowd as it took turns shoving her like a super racist game of Blind Man’s Bluff […] look at her beautiful face and be proud of her.” (Dang, we were so biased and poetic in our campaign coverage.) At least we can be relieved Heimbach didn’t also sue Elizabeth Eckford for inciting the protesters by standing so tall and proud back in 1957, when she was all of fifteen years old. If it weren’t for troublemakers like her, blacks 60 years later wouldn’t think they have all these so-called rights.
Heimbach’s isn’t the only countersuit filed in the case; lawyers for another of the men seen shoving Nwanguma, Korean War veteran Alvin Bamberger (another target of the original suit), filed a motion Friday stating that Bamberger “admits only that he touched a woman,” but that he “denies that he assaulted that woman.” In that filing as well, Trump is named as the real instigator:
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.”
While Donald Trump’s own filing in the case insists he can’t be sued at all because he won the election — you did know he won, right? — and as president of the USA is immune from liability, we think it would be a shame to miss the larger point of all these legal filings: No matter what their politics, Americans can at least agree that Donald Trump is a big fat loudmouth who incites violence. Makes you want to wave a flag, or at least try to run someone through with the pointy thing on top of the pole.
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