Trump To Judge: My Rights Were Violated By Protesters

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

"I'd like to punch him in the face, I tell ya." -Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

In a motion attempting to dismiss a lawsuit filed by protesters who were violently removed from a Trump campaign rally last year, President Donald Trump's lawyers argued that the president's First Amendment right to free speech trumped that of his detractors.

"In this case, Plaintiffs interfered with the Trump Campaign's freedom to 'choose the content of (its) own message,'" Trump's lawyers wrote in a motion. "Thus, by interjecting this anti-Trump speech in the middle of a pro-Trump rally, they were obviously transforming the message that Mr. Trump and the Campaign wished the event to convey."

The argument failed, and a federal judge allowed the case to proceed, saying:

"It is plausible that Trump's direction to 'get 'em out of here' advocated the use of force," the judge, David Hale, wrote at the time. "'Get 'em out of here' is stated in the imperative; it was an order, an instruction, a command."

Trump's rallies became known for a willingness to employ violence in the face of protest. At a rally in Las Vegas last February, Trump said:

"I'd like to punch him in the face, I tell ya," Trump said to roaring cheers from his supporters.

Lamenting "political correctness," Trump infamously added that he missed the "old days."

"You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this?" Trump asked the crowd. "They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks."