DOJ says Trump can be sued over January 6 riot

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News

The Justice Department told a federal court Thursday that Democratic lawmakers and Capitol police can sue former President Donald Trump over the January 6 Capitol riot, rejecting Trump’s claim of immunity.

“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,’ the Attorneys for the DOJ Civil Division wrote to a Washington federal appeals court. “But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.”

The appeals court asked the DOJ in December whether or not Trump can be sued over the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The former president is facing a consolidation from congressional Democrats and Capitol police officers. 

A Trump spokesperson has said the courts “should rule in favor of President Trump in short order and dismiss these frivolous lawsuits.”

Trump claims he was acting in his official presidential capacity when he addressed his supporters outside the Capitol. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that a president cannot be sued over official actions.

That day, President Trump told his supporters he would never concede the 2020 election, claiming it was stolen. Trump told the crowd to “fight like hell,” while telling them to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Last February, U.S. District Court Judge Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Trump was not immune, calling his speech “the essence of civil conspiracy.” 

Trump’s legal team appealed the district judge’s ruling, prompting the Washington appellate court’s letter to the DOJ. 

The DOJ attorneys said they have “no view on that conclusion, or on the truth of the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaints,” but said, “such incitement of imminent private violence would not be within the outer perimeter of the Office of the President of the United States.”