A Federal Judge Delivered Damning Ruling: Trump Can Be Sued Over The Capitol Attack, Does Not Have The Absolute Immunity He Desperately Wants

Donald Trump will not react well to this.

634 points

In a series of brutal losses that just won’t stop coming against the one-term, twice-impeached ex-president, a new report from Business Insider has revealed that Trump suffered yet another hit as a federal judge ruled today that former President Donald Trump CAN be held civilly liable for the violent, deadly, infamous January 6th Capitol attack. And, to make things a little worse still for the disgraced former “leader,” the judge also noted that the ex-president does not have absolute immunity from any potential civil suits, despite his desperate desire for such.

US District Judge Amit Mehta penned an extensive, 112-page ruling, in which he stated that Donald Trump’s speech in front of the Capitol building, just mere hours before the infamous siege by his supporters, during which the then-president called on his people to “fight like Hell” against the 2020 presidential election results “can reasonably be viewed as a call for collective action.” The Honorable Judge Mehta specifically pointed out several statements during the rally, in which Donald Trump very pointedly used the word “we” when addressing his supporters during the rally outside the Capitol building, including:

  • “We will not take it anymore.”
  • “We will stop the steal.”
  • “We will never give up.”
  • “We will never concede.”
  • “All Mike Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify, and we become president.”
  • “We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Mehta wrote that the word “we” being “used repeatedly in this context implies that the President and rally-goers would be acting together toward a common goal. That is the essence of a civil conspiracy.”

The judge’s ruling came on the heels of three lawsuits brought against former President Donald Trump by Democratic lawmakers as well as Capitol police officers who actively defended the government building from the violent insurrectionists.

In addition to his ruling that Donald Trump can be civilly sued in connection to the Capitol attack, Judge Mehta also ruled that Trump does not enjoy absolute immunity from the litigation and can absolutely be held fully accountable for his actions and statements related to the January 6th attack.

“To deny a President immunity from civil damages is no small step,” he wrote in the ruling. “The court well understands the gravity of its decision. But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent.”

Later on in the court ruling it reads:

After all, the President’s actions here do not relate to his duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or managing the Executive Branch. They entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts, so the separation-of-powers concerns that justify the President’s broad immunity are not present here.”

In case you hadn’t noticed, Donald, it’s just getting worse. Your clock is ticking hard at this point.

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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