Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

DOJ – Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 riot harm

AP: “Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot. In court papers, the Justice Department urged a federal appeals court in Washington to allow the lawsuits to move forward, writing that “no part of a President’s official responsibilities includes the incitement of imminent private violence.” The Justice Department said it took no position on the lawsuits’ claims that the former president’s words incited the attack on the Capitol. Nevertheless, Justice Department lawyers said the court should reject Trump’s argument that “absolutely immunity” shields him from being sued because the remarks were in line with his official duties. “As the Nation’s leader and head of state, the President has ‘an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf,’ they wrote. “But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.” The brief was filed by lawyers of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and has no bearing on a separate criminal investigation by a department special counsel into whether Trump can be criminally charged over efforts to undo President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election ahead of the Capitol riot. In fact, the lawyers note that they are not taking a position with respect to potential criminal liability for Trump or anyone else. An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Trump on Thursday. Trump’s lawyers have argued he was acting within his official rights and had no intention to spark violence when he called on thousands of supporters to “march to the Capitol” and “fight like hell” before the riot erupted.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.