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White Nationalist Blames Trump in Campaign Rally Assault Suit

by Tim Stelloh /
Matthew Heimbach, center, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and fellow supporters spread support for their third party movement in Beattyville, Kentucky, on March 26, 2016.Michael Reaves / The Washington Post/Getty Images

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A white nationalist accused of assaulting three protesters at a Donald Trump campaign rally last year alleged the president authorized him to remove disruptive people when he said “Get ‘em out of here,” court papers filed Monday say.

Matthew Heimbach, of the Traditionalist Worker Party, became the second defendant named in a March 30 lawsuit alleging Trump incited the assault to use the president’s own words as a defense.

Matthew Heimbach, center, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and fellow supporters spread support for their third party movement in Beattyville, Kentucky, on March 26, 2016.Michael Reaves / The Washington Post/Getty Images

“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,” the documents say.

If Heimbach is found liable in the suit, the documents say, Trump should indemnify him.

Another defendant, 75-year-old Alvin Bamberger, offered a similar argument in court papers filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for Western Kentucky.

Related: 10 Injured During White Nationalist Rally in California Capital

Heimbach denied the charges of assault, battery and other allegations, the documents say.

Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the March 30 suit, arguing the president didn’t mean for his supporters to use force during the March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky.

Judge David J. Hale rejected that claim, ruling there was considerable evidence linking the protesters' injuries to Trump’s actions.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Heimbach's Traditionalist Worker Party as "a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems."

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