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US Judge Rejects Trump Bid to Toss 1/6 Incitement Suit, but Excuses Giuliani, Don Jr.

US Judge Rejects Trump Bid to Toss 1/6 Incitement Suit, but Excuses Giuliani, Don Jr.
(AP)

Friday, 18 February 2022 04:10 PM EST

Former President Donald Trump on Friday lost a bid to dismiss lawsuits accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In a lengthy written ruling, Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said three lawsuits by Democratic members of Congress and two police officers could proceed toward trial.

Mehta agreed to dismiss Rudy Giuliani and Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr., who were named as co-defendants, from the lawsuits.

Looming large in the litigation is a Supreme Court case from 1982 holding that presidents are shielded, or immune, from lawsuits over their official acts.

Mehta ruled Trump was not immune from the lawsuits, determining that the then-president's fiery speech before a Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was not within the scope of his official presidential duties.

"To deny a president immunity from civil damages is no small step. The court well understands the gravity of its decision," Mehta ruled. "But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent, and the court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes behind such immunity."

The Democratic lawmakers, including U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell and Jerry Nadler, have invoked an 1871 law passed to fight the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan that prohibits political intimidation.

Trump and his co-defendants have argued that their remarks preceding the Jan. 6 attack were political speech protected by the First Amendment.

The two Capitol Police officers who sued Trump are James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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Former President Donald Trump on Friday lost a bid to dismiss lawsuits accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.In a lengthy written ruling, Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said three lawsuits by...
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2022-10-18
Friday, 18 February 2022 04:10 PM
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