Donald Trump settles lawsuit alleging his private security guards brutalized protesters

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has settled a lawsuit brought by a group of protesters who say they were brutalized by the Republican’s private security guards during his 2015 presidential campaign.

The two sides settled as a jury was selected in a New York courtroom for a civil trial, one of a series of legal entanglements involving the former president.

On Wednesday, Trump filed a lawsuit in Florida seeking to thwart one of those cases, a suit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who alleges that Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, inflated his net worth of billions of dollars and mislead banks and others for years about the value of various assets.

Details of the settlement in the protesters’ lawsuit were not disclosed.

“While we look forward to proceeding with a trial to demonstrate the frivolity of this matter, the parties were ultimately able to reach an amicable resolution,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said. “We are very satisfied with this result and are happy to finally be able to put an end to this matter once and for all.”

The lawsuit was brought by five New Yorkers of Mexican descent. He alleges that Trump’s bodyguards attacked them outside his Manhattan skyscraper on September 3, 2015, as they protested Trump’s negative comments about Mexico and Mexican immigrants. Reporters recorded guards snatching signs from protesters and then brawling with some of them.

“Powerful men may put their names on buildings, but the sidewalk will still belong to the people,” protesters’ attorney Benjamin Dictor said in an email following the announcement of the settlement.

“The defendants stared at the barrel of a Bronx jury who were about to be presented with overwhelming evidence in support of the plaintiffs’ claims. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs are proud to have settled their claims and to have won written acknowledgment from Donald Trump of their right to protest on the public sidewalk,” Dictor said.

Trump sat down for a deposition a year ago, which would have been played for the jury. Trump was a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the Trump Organization, his presidential campaign and security personnel.

Among other demands, the plaintiffs wanted Trump to pay punitive damages, arguing he should have known that security personnel would act in a “negligent or reckless manner.”

Trump’s lawyers had resisted having him sit for deposition. While in office, they argued there must be “exceptional circumstances” to remove a senior government official.

Bronx Judge Doris Gonzalez, who presided over the case, dismissed that argument, saying it did not apply because Trump was called to account for conduct outside of his duties.

In his lawsuit filed Wednesday in Palm Beach County, Florida, Trump alleged that James’ efforts to access and monitor his revocable trust violated Florida privacy laws. The lawsuit says the trust contains his private estate plan and decisions regarding the disposition of his assets upon his death.

James’ lawsuit against Trump seeks, among other penalties, the payment of at least $250 million, which it says is the estimated value of the benefits from the alleged fraud, and to bar Trump and her three oldest children to run a state-based business again.

In Trump’s trial, the former president called James’ trial “abusive”, “intimidating” and “harassing”, and part of a “vitriolous and obsessive prosecution of President Trump”. An email seeking comment was left in James’ office on Wednesday evening.

In May, a federal judge in New York dismissed a separate lawsuit brought by Trump against James, dismissing his argument that she had targeted him out of political animus and allowing his investigation into his business practices to continue.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button