Justice Department Argues That Trump Can Be Sued for January 6 Capitol Riot


The Department of Justice suggested that Trump could face legal action for encouraging his supporters to march on Washington’s Capitol Building, while Congress certifies the results of the 2020 presidential election.

According to the Washington Post, lawyers from the DOJ’s Civil Division wrote this:

The traditional function of the Presidency is to communicate with the public on matters of public concern. The President’s Office’s outer boundary includes a large area of such speech. But, it does not allow for private violence.

11 House Democrats and two Capitol Police officers filed a lawsuit against Trump to hold him responsible for the injuries and physiological conditions they suffered during the riot.

A December appeals court could not decide whether Trump was acting in the course of the riot that preceded it. Trump claimed that he has absolute immunity that protects him from being sued.

WaPo has more information:

The statute used to bring this lawsuit was established after the Civil War to deal with the Ku Klux Klan. This statute allows for damages when government officials are prevented from performing their duties by force or threats.

The first district court to hear the case ruled that Trump’s conduct was not protected under The First Amendment.

The lawsuit is still in the preliminary stage. However, the Justice Department stressed its position that it isn’t claiming that Trump caused Jan. 6’s riot but that the “plausibly allege[d]” claims refer to conduct outside of the scope of an officer president’s duties.

Trump stated the following during his speech at the rally:

All of us here today do not want our election win stolen and used by radical left Democrats. This is exactly what they’re doing.

If there is theft involved in your country, you don’t need to concede. We will stop the theft.

I believe Mike will do what is right and win the election.

Simply send it back to the States for recertifying and Vice President Pence will be done. We are now president, and you’re the happiest person.

After Pence refused to “do the right thing,” in Trump’s opinion, he fired up his Twitter machine at 2:24 — ten minutes after rioters broke the first Capitol window — and blasted his vice president:

Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.

“Hang Mike Pence!” could be heard by some of the rioters, after they learned that he certified the Electoral College vote.

They claim that the rest is history.

I stopped engaging in the debate more than a year ago over Pence’s refusal to “do the right thing,” as Trump continues to claim, or in fact, did do the right thing, which some argue Pence was bound to do by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, for one simple reason: No one on either side of the debate is going to change a single mind on the other side.

Meanwhile, it’ll be beyond interesting how this thing ultimately plays out in courts.