Trump Loses Immunity Appeal In January 6 Case

Daily Report December 02,2023

a Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. on Friday ruled against Former President Donald Trump after the former president argued that he had presidential immunity from lawsuits relating to the events of January 6.

Trump is facing three civil lawsuits after Democratic members of Congress and Capitol police officers sued the former president for inciting the January protest. Trump, however, appealed the lawsuit in the D.C. Court of Appeals, arguing that his actions on that day are shielded by “presidential immunity.” Trump maintained that actions are legally protected because he was acting as president at the time.

The Appeals Court Judges, in a 3-0 ruling, went against Trump’s argument, adding that his actions were carried out as a political candidate. The court added that Trump’s actions were undertaken in an unofficial, private capacity as an office-seeker, not an official capacity as an office-holder.

“In [Trump’s] view, a President’s speech on matters of public concern is invariably an official function, and he was engaged in that function when he spoke at the January 6 rally and in the leadup to that day,” Judge Sri Srinivasan, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, wrote in their opinion for the court. “We cannot accept that rationale.”

While the court’s decision could have a significant bearing on Trump’s other criminal cases, the judges noted that their ruling was not final and that the former president could later argue his side of the grievance successfully.

“Because our decision is not necessarily even the final word on the issue of presidential immunity, we of course express no view on the ultimate merits of the claims against President Trump,” The judges wrote. “Nor do we have any occasion to address his other defenses, including his claim that his alleged actions fall within the protections of the First Amendment because they did not amount to incitement of imminent lawless action: he did not seek appellate review at this time of the district court’s denial of his First Amendment defense, but he could bring that issue before us in the future. We also do not opine on whether executive or other privileges might shield certain evidence from discovery or use as the litigation proceeds. Nor does our decision on a president’s official-act immunity from damages liability in a civil suit treat with whether or when a President might be immune from criminal prosecution.”

You may also like...