BREAKING: Judge Rules Against Trump
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U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that former President Donald Trump must face the civil lawsuits seeking to hold him liable for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Mehta rejected Trump’s efforts to dismiss the cases on the basis of presidential immunity.
“To deny a President immunity from civil damages is no small step,” Mehta wrote in a 112-page opinion.
“The court well understands the gravity of its decision. 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 judge ruled that Trump could be held liable because his efforts to undermine the 2020 election results could not be considered official acts.
“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,” Mehta wrote.
“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.”
“President Trump’s January 6 Rally Speech was akin to telling an excited mob that corn-dealers starve the poor in front of the corn-dealer’s home,” Mehta wrote.
“He invited his supporters to Washington, D.C., after telling them for months that corrupt and spineless politicians were to blame for stealing an election from them; retold that narrative when thousands of them assembled on the Ellipse; and directed them to march on the Capitol building—the metaphorical corn-dealer’s house—where those very politicians were at work to certify an election that he had lost.”
The ruling came in a set of cases brought by U.S. Capitol Police officers and Democratic House members Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS), the chairman of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA).
The civil suits all brought claims against Trump under the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act.