Suits against Trump can move ahead, court says
Lawsuits against Donald Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, rejecting the former U.S. president’s bid to dismiss the cases accusing him of inciting the violent mob on Jan. 6, 2021.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court knocked down Trump’s sweeping claims that presidential immunity shields him from liability in the lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and police officers.
But the three-judge panel said the 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner can continue to fight, as the cases proceed, to try to prove that his actions were taken in his official capacity as the country’s president.
Trump has said he can’t be sued over the riot that left dozens of police officers injured, arguing his words during a rally before the storming of the Capitol addressed “matters of public concern” and fall within the scope of absolute presidential immunity.
The decision comes as Trump’s lawyers are arguing he is also immune from prosecution in the separate criminal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith that accuses Trump of illegally plotting to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden.
Smith’s team has signalled that it will make the case at trial that Trump is responsible for the violence at the Capitol and point to Trump’s continued embrace of the Jan. 6 rioters on the campaign trail to argue he intended for the chaos that day.
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