DOJ Pressures Judge to Allow January 6 Complaint Against Trump to Be Heard

The Department of Justice asks the judge to allow a complaint that holds the former president liable for the January 6  Capitol riot to be heard, despite Donald Trump’s claim of absolute immunity, which bars him from suits of this nature. According to The Washington Post, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated on Thursday that former President Donald Trump might be held accountable for the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Eleven Democratic members of the House of Representatives and two police officers have sued Trump, stating that they have suffered psychological and physical harm as a result of the Capitol incident. Trump has said several times that he enjoys absolute immunity since he was doing his official duties as President of the United States. When officials act within the scope of their duties, they are protected from criminal prosecution and damage lawsuits due to absolute immunity.

The DOJ noted that speaking to the public on subjects of public concern is a longstanding responsibility of the Presidency, and the President’s Office encompasses a large area of such speech. The DOJ also adds that yet, this conventional role is that of public communication, and it excludes  threats or “incitement of imminent private violence.”

According to the New York Times, the DOJ agrees that Trump has some immunity from the lawsuit but is uncertain if Trump incited violence on January 6.

According to the New York Times, an appeals court was unable to establish if Trump was properly performing his duties on the day of the incident when he allegedly incited a violent crowd with a political speech questioning the results of the 2020 election.

However, because actual incitement would be unprotected by absolute immunity even if it occurred in a speech about public concern, this Court should reject Trump’s categorical argument of immunity, which he reiterates in his appeal, according to the Department of Justice.

The complaint references the Ku Klux Klan Act, a federal civil rights law established in 1871 that permits persons to be punished for using violence to intimidate or hinder government personnel from doing their jobs. 42 USC 1983, the updated version of the Ku Klux Klan Act, is still one of the major tools for enforcing federal constitutional rights against state and local actors.

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