Judge Questions Whether Trump’s Silence On Jan. 6 Amounted To Support For Violence
During hearings for three civil lawsuits linked to last year’s Capitol riot, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta considered whether or not Donald Trump‘s silence on the day can be equated with approval of the attack. Trump’s lawyers seek full immunity for the former president.
The lawsuits were filed by two Democratic members of Congress and two Capitol police officers who were injured in the attack.
“What do I do about the fact the president didn’t denounce the conduct immediately?” Mehta said. “Isn’t that, from a plausibility standpoint, enough to at least plausibly infer that the president agreed with the conduct of the people that were inside the Capitol that day?
Trump’s attorney, Jesse Binnall, argued that Trump could not be punished for something he didn’t do.
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The lawsuits mainly focused on Trump’s silence during the attack and that the few tweets he did put out, seemed to encourage the violence. It also pointed out that Trump had many people, including his song Donald Trump Jr., advise him to release a statement to condemn the violence.
“I cannot think of an example,” Binnall said when asked if there was anything a president could say that would result in being held accountable to the law. “The duties of the president are all-encompassing.”
Bignall argued that the only thing that could touch Trump was impeachment, which failed.
Mehta is highly involved with the Capitol case, as he is overseeing the largest criminal case from Jan. 6. In those cases, he showed he believes the defendants weren’t solely responsible for their actions.
“People like Mr. Lolos (defendant) were told lies, told falsehoods, told our election was stolen when it clearly was not,” Mehta said. “We’re here today deciding whether Mr. Lolos should spend 30 days in jail when those who created the conditions that led to Mr. Lolos’ conduct, led to the events of Jan. 6 [haven’t been] held to account for their actions and their word.”
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