Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Tuesday they would appeal a judge's ruling requiring the President to give a video deposition in a lawsuit filed by protesters who allege they were assaulted by Trump's bodyguards outside of Trump Tower.
On Friday, Judge Doris Gonzales denied Trump's request to quash the subpoena for his testimony saying it is "indispensable" to the trial. Trump, she ruled, would have to appear for a video deposition before the trial was set to begin on Thursday. "No government official, including the executive, is above the law," the judge said.
Lawyers for Trump filed a notice of appeal with the court on Tuesday.
The litigation revolves around a 2015 lawsuit filed by five men who describe themselves as "human rights activists of Mexican origin" who were protesting Trump's rhetoric on immigration in front of Trump Tower in September 2015.
The men allege that Trump's head of security, Keith Schiller, hit one of the protesters, Efrain Galicia, in the head after Galicia tried to stop Schiller from taking their large cardboard signs, which read, "Trump: Make America Racist Again." The lawsuit alleges that when Galicia tried to hold onto one of the signs, Schiller ripped it away from him, tearing it to pieces.
When Galicia tried to prevent Schiller from taking another sign, he alleges Schiller hit him with "a closed fist on the head with such force it caused (him) to stumble backwards," according to the lawsuit.
In his sworn testimony, Schiller claims the protesters and their banners were a threat to public safety because they would have impeded an ambulance from responding to an emergency in the building. Schiller says Galicia grabbed him from behind prompting him to swing around and hit the protester with his "open hand." Schiller says he believed Galicia was attempting to grab his gun and thus used the "minimal amount of force to get him off of my firearm and off of my body."
The plaintiffs allege the President had control over his security's actions because they are his employees, even if Trump himself did not order them to act.
Trump's lawyers have not returned calls seeking comment.
In a court filing, Trump's attorneys characterized the plaintiffs' motivations as political and argued that "Trump did not strike or touch any of the plaintiffs or take plaintiffs' sign from them. In fact, the President was not even in the vicinity" of the incident outside of Trump Tower.