White nationalist argues Trump should be liable for inciting violence at rally

A white nationalist leader accused of assaulting a protester at a campaign rally for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Pruitt spent K flying aides to Australia to prep for later-canceled visit: report Rosenstein told Trump he is not a target of Mueller probe: report MORE last year has filed a countersuit, arguing that it was the president who incited violence.

Matthew Heimbach claims he “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President,” according to a report by Politico.

Heimbach, who is a leader of the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network, says “any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.”

Three people who were protesting at a March 2016 rally in Louisville, Ky., filed civil assault and battery claims against Heimbach and other Trump supporters, claiming they were ejected after the Republican candidate yelled “get ‘em out of here” from the stage.

In Monday’s filing, Heimbach claims that Trump asked his supporters to remove the protesters and said he “relied on Trump’s reputation and expertise in doing the things alleged.”

Heimbach's countersuit insists he “denies physically assaulting protestors” but also claims the protesters “provoked a response” with “efforts to disrupt a free assembly and campaign event and to infringe the rights” of Heimbach “and the attendees to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to vote and other constitutional rights.”

The president's lawyers argued last week that Trump is immune from civil lawsuits as president and cannot be sued for inciting violence at his campaign rallies.

“Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States,” Trump's lawyers wrote in a federal court filing in response to the initial lawsuit brought by the protesters.