Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have quietly settled a lawsuit against the controversial figure by protesters who were allegedly beaten up by his security staff in the days after he announced his 2016 bid for the White House, according to The Daily Beast.
Both Trump’s and the protesters’s attorneys told reporters that the case had been settled as a jury was being selected for trial, and that Trump’s lawyers had made the “last-minute decision” to settle “after struggling to find Bronx jurors who didn’t have strong feelings about Trump and his eponymous company.”
Benjamin Dictor, attorney for the protestors, said it was “an incredible day” for his clients, who he says are “lifelong activists in the community … who stood up to defend the right to speech on the public sidewalk and have litigated for seven years,” and added “Today, the matter was resolved on terms that they are very, very happy with.”
In a pre-trial deposition, Trump revealed that he was fearful that he could have been killed by flying fruit from the protesters.
In that deposition, Dictor asked Trump about his urging to campaign rally attendees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to “knock the crap” out of anyone they might see preparing to throw a tomato.” Trump replied that he had been “threatened” by protesters who “were going to throw fruit.” He continued:
“We were told. I thought Secret Service was involved in that, actually. But we were told. And you get hit with fruit, it’s – no, it’s very violent stuff. We were on alert for that.”
Trump later said that his comment about knocking “the crap out of” protestors “was said sort of in jest,” and he denied inciting his followers to violent retaliation:
“I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit. And some fruit is a lot worse than – tomatoes are bad, by the way. But it’s very dangerous.”
He also added that he was fearful that protestors would move from tomatoes to some harder, more dangerous throwing fruits, like pineapple:
“Yeah, I think that they have to be aggressive in stopping that from happening. Because if that happens, you can be killed if that happens.”