Court Battles

Judge orders Trump to give videotaped deposition in protest lawsuit

A New York judge has ordered former President Trump to give a videotaped deposition next week as part of a civil lawsuit connected to a 2015 protest where demonstrators and his security guards allegedly clashed.

A group of Mexican protesters filed a lawsuit against Trump, his campaign, his former head of security Keith Schiller and others following a rally outside Trump Tower in New York City in 2015.

The protesters claim that Trump’s security guards assaulted them and infringed on their rights to practice free speech. They said they were out demonstrating against then-candidate Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants.

Trump has previously called Mexican immigrants rapists and other criminals.

The plaintiffs allege that Schiller hit one of the protesters, Efrain Galicia, in the head after the security official tried to take away a cardboard sign that read “Trump: Make America Racist Again,” according to CNN.

According to The Washington Post, the protesters were wearing Ku Klux Klan suits.

Schiller, however, has said he was attempting to clear the sidewalk when he hit the protester, according to the Post. He also claimed that he was grabbed from behind.

Trump was not at the scene when the protesters and security guards clashed but the plaintiffs still included him as a defendant, arguing that the guards were his employees and that his language on the campaign trail suggested that they were allowed to forcefully oppose the protesters, according to the Post.

New York Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez is now requesting Trump’s deposition.

“Donald J. Trump shall appear for a deposition October 18, 2021 at 10 a.m. … or, in the event of illness or emergency, on another mutually agreed to date on or before October 31, 2021,” Gonzalez’s order reads, according to ABC News.

Benjamin N. Dictor, an attorney representing the protesters, told the Post that he will be questioning Trump at Trump Tower, beginning Monday morning.

“I will be conducting the examination of Donald Trump under oath, at Trump Tower,” he said in a written statement. “We look forward to presenting the video record of his testimony to the jury at his trial.”

Gonzalez in September 2019 had ordered Trump to answer questions in a videotaped deposition, contending that his testimony was “indispensable.”

Trump at the time cited executive privilege as a reason why he could not testify, but Gonzalez rejected that claim, writing in an order that “no government official, including the executive, is above the law,” according to CNN.

Trump’s lawyers reportedly appealed that decision.

The beginning of the trial was then postponed so legal issues could be handled by the appeals court, according to CNN.

The Hill reached out to Trump for comment.

Updated at 3:02 p.m.

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