New York judge orders Trump to testify in demonstrators' civil suit

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A security guard for then-candidate Donald Trump is shown grabbing anti-racism demonstrator Efrain Galicia outside of Trump Tower in New York City on September 3, 2015. A judge ruled Thursday Trump must testify in a suit resulting from the incident. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

A security guard for then-candidate Donald Trump is shown grabbing anti-racism demonstrator Efrain Galicia outside of Trump Tower in New York City on September 3, 2015. A judge ruled Thursday Trump must testify in a suit resulting from the incident. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump must give a deposition in a civil suit filed by demonstrators contending his security team assaulted them in 2015, a New York judge ordered Thursday.

State Supreme Court Judge Doris Gonzalez ruled that Trump must make a videotaped deposition in the case on Monday at Trump Tower in New York City.

Trump's attorneys have made numerous efforts to block the demonstrators' efforts to force him to testify in the suit.

A New York appeals court judge temporarily paused a similar order from Gonzalez ordering a deposition two years ago just as the trial was scheduled to go to jury selection.

That ruling came after Trump argued that state courts lack the legal authority to force a sitting president to testify in a civil trial and that his critical national duties were more important.

The suit stems from an incident during a demonstration outside Trump Tower in Manhattan following comments made by then-candidate Trump at his presidential announcement in which he claimed Mexico has been sending people to the United States who are "bringing drugs. Bringing crime. They're rapists."

Photos and video of the protest showed Trump's head of security, Keith Schiller, hitting plaintiff Efrain Galicia in the face after Galicia appeared to reach for a blue sign bearing the words "Trump: Make America Racist Again," the New York Daily News reported.

"After defendants spent years unsuccessfully fighting to keep Donald Trump from testifying under oath, we will be taking his testimony in this case on Monday," plaintiffs' attorney Benjamin Dictor said in a statement issued to CNN. "We look forward to presenting this case, including Mr. Trump's video testimony, to the jury at his trial."

The suit charges Trump and his security detail with assault and battery and seeks unspecified monetary damages along with a court order barring the former president from interfering with "lawful demonstrations" and "political speech."

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