Trump Asks Courts For ‘Presidential Immunity’ From Jan. 6 Lawsuits
Former President Donald Trump urged the federal courts to consider presidential immunity in civil suit rulings regarding his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and any efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump has been the subject of a number of civil suits for inciting the riots.
In February, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Trump could be sued for having a part in starting the riots because his “Stop the Steal” rally, in which he promoted his claims of election fraud, was carried out in the role of a candidate rather than the President.
His actions, and especially the rally, were “akin to telling an excited mob that corn dealers starve the poor in front of the corn dealer’s home,” the judge argued.
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“[Trump’s decisions] entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts,” Mehta added.
Trump’s legal team submitted a brief last week arguing that “Examining the contents of a tweet or speech constitutes an intrusion on the executive” under Nixon v. Fitzgerald, which ruled that presidential immunity should be honored even over actions that fall in the “outer perimeter” of presidential duties.
“The actions of the rioters do not strip President Trump of immunity,” the brief read.
“President Trump is shielded by absolute presidential immunity because his statements were on matters of public concern and therefore well within the scope of the robust absolute immunity afforded all presidents,” Trump’s team added. “No amount of hyperbole about the violence of January 6, 2021, provides a basis for this Court to carve out an exception to the constitutional separation of powers.”
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