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Judge orders Trump to file lawsuit against immigration activists


A New York judge has ordered former President Donald Trump to give a videotaped statement next week in a lawsuit filed by a group of protesters who allege Trump and his security team assaulted them during the a rally in 2015 against his hateful rhetoric about Mexican immigrants.

The order by Bronx State Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez, which ABC News first reported on Thursday, says Trump is scheduled to appear for a deposition on October 18 at 10 a.m. PT. Is, “or, in the event of illness or emergency, on another mutually agreed upon date no later than October 31st. The former president is expected to take the deposition in New York’s Trump Tower on Monday, according to court documents.

The lawsuit filed by several Mexican-born protesters names Trump, the Trump Organization, its former security chief Keith Schiller and four unnamed members of Trump’s security team at the time. Schiller became director of Oval Office operations under Trump in 2017, and later that year the Republican National Committee hired him as a security advisor for the 2020 convention.

The lawsuit stems from a September 3, 2015 protest outside Trump Tower against the then presidential candidate’s inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. Trump has repeatedly blamed undocumented immigrants for America’s problems and called people crossing the border into Mexico criminals and rapists. The xenophobic rhetoric during his campaign only intensified when he became president.

Placards expressing solidarity with immigrant workers on September 16, 2015, during a protest against Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Mark Apollo / Pacific Press via Getty Images

Schiller and the four security guards attacked peaceful protesters, according to the lawsuit. The guards allegedly told the protesters that the sidewalk was private property (it was not) and repelled them by taking their signs. Video evidence shows Schiller aggressively removing protest signs from complainant Efrain Galicia and hitting him on the head when Galicia attempted to retrieve his sign.

Trump tried to evade a subpoena ordering him to testify in the case in 2018, arguing that there must be “exceptional circumstances” to remove a senior government official. Gonzalez rejected the motion in 2019, saying Trump’s argument did not apply because he was called upon to answer for behavior that had occurred before he took office.

A court order ultimately allowed the then president to avoid having to testify in person while serving in the White House, according to CNBC. In July, with Trump out of office, Gonzalez ordered him to sit for deposition which would be scheduled at a later date. The parties initially agreed that he would be impeached in September, but postponed the date to Monday due to Trump’s availability.

“After the defendants have spent years fighting unsuccessfully to prevent Donald Trump from testifying under oath, we will take his testimony in this case on Monday,” plaintiffs lawyer Benjamin Dictor said on Thursday. “We look forward to bringing this case, including Mr. Trump’s video testimony, to the jury at his trial.”