Trump Lawyers Invoke ‘Absolute Immunity’ to Presidents, Want Civil Cases Tried January 6

Lawyer for the former President Donald Trump citing “absolute immunity” to presidents, wants civil cases against him over the January 6 Capitol riots to be overturned.

“There has never been an example of someone being able to successfully sue a president for something that happened during his term,” said Jesse Binnall, Trump’s attorney. “That absolute immunity of the president is very important.”

Trump’s lawyers claimed their client was acting within his official rights and did not intend to create violence as he called on thousands of supporters to “march to the Capitol” and ” fight like hell” to break SenateCertification of election results 2020.

There was a five-hour hearing in the District of Columbia before US District Judge Amit Mehta on Monday regarding Trump’s attempt to dismiss the civil lawsuits.

Binnall said Trump’s calls to disrupt the Senate’s vote-certification process fall within the power of any executive to criticize or comment on an equal branch of government.

“A president always has the right to say whether any other branch, frankly, can or should act,” he said, citing instances where the former President Barack Obama public comment on Supreme Court decisions.

Donald Trump, Civil Cases, Hearings, Capitol Riots
Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, says Trump’s calls to circumvent the Senate’s vote-certification process fall within the power of any executive to criticize or comment on a political branch. equal government. In this photo, crowds gather for the “Stop Theft” rally on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC
Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California filed one of the lawsuits against Trump and a host of others, including Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s attorney. Rudy Giuliani, Alabama Republican Representative Mo Brooks and the right-wing group The Oath Keepers, blame Trump supporters for the violent violation of the Capitol building.

Other lawsuits, brought by Democrats and two Capitol Buildings Police officers, stated that statements by Trump and Brooks on and before January 6 essentially qualify as part of a political campaign and therefore fair game for litigation. The plaintiffs are seeking damages for the physical and emotional injuries they suffered during the uprising.

“What he was talking about was a campaign issue, seeking to secure an election,” said Joseph Sellers, one of the attorneys representing Swalwell’s case. “This is a completely private act.”

The seller said Trump’s statements were a public and unequivocal call for political violence.

“It’s hard to imagine a scenario other than the president going down to the Capitol on his own and breaking through the doors … but of course he did it through agents of the other side,” he said. 3rd, through the crowd.

Binnall argued that Trump was subject to a trial on January 6 – his second impeachment trial, where he was acquitted by a majority Republican Senate.

“That was their fix, and they failed,” he said. “They don’t get another piece of apple here.”

Mehta repeatedly interrupted the lawyers of both sides with questions and challenges.

Attorney Giuliani Joseph Sibley at one point stated, “There is simply no way you can build statements made by any speaker into an invitation to join a conspiracy to go to the Capitol and commit a crime. “

Mehta immediately asks: “Why not?”

The judge then referenced Trump’s own January 6 speech in detail.

“His last words were ‘go to the Capitol’ and before that were ‘show strength’ and ‘fight’.” Why isn’t that a reasonable invitation to do exactly what the rioters did? ‘ Mehta asked. ‘Those words are hard to come by.

Mehta at one point focused on the hour-long silence from Trump as his supporters battled Capitol Police and DC police officers and rampaged through the building. He asked Binnall at length whether failing or refusing to condemn the attack as it was happening could be construed as approval.

Binnall replied, “You can’t have a situation where the president is forced to take certain actions or say certain things or get sued.”

Brooks invoked the Westfall Act, a statue protect federal employees from being sued for actions while on duty. However, Justice Department attorney Brian Boynton told the court that Brooks should be denied such protection.

Boynton said that the fact that Brooks was “campaigning for President Trump’s election with these remarks at a Trump rally makes this a campaign act”.

Brooks, who is representing himself in Monday’s proceedings, told the court that a House ethics committee had refused to pursue charges against him. He added that there is no campaign going on to take part on January 6.

“The campaign ended on November 3,” Brooks said. “Everything after that is a legal process.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Trump Lawyers Invoke ‘Absolute Immunity’ to Presidents, Want Civil Cases Tried January 6

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