Defendant and Circuit Court of Appeals in the Dec. 6 Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Reactions to Ruling Charged Election Fraud
The court rejected Trump’s claim of immunity, which places the Republican contender in even more financial danger, and paves the way for Members of Congress and Capitol police to seek compensation for harms that allegedly took place during a riot that caused millions of dollars in damages.
Former President Donald Trump is not immune from being sued over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, clearing the way for lawsuits filed against him in connection with the deadly riot.
The president, said Judge Sri Srinivasan in the written opinion, “does not spend every minute of every day exercising official responsibilities. And when he acts outside the functions of his office, he does not continue to enjoy immunity from damages liability just because he happens to be the President.”
The opinion said he is acting as an officer-seeker, not an officer-holder, because he and his competitors are competing to get the same office.
Trump has tried to convince the court that a president’s speech about allegations of vote fraud should be considered an official act of the president.
“When a sitting president running for re-election speaks in a campaign ad, that is usually on a matter of public concern. Yet he does so in an unofficial, private capacity as office-seeker, not an official capacity as office-holder,” the opinion said. “Actions taken in an unofficial capacity cannot qualify for official-act immunity.”
Chutkan did not agree with Trump’s claim that the indictment violates the former president’s free speech rights. Lawyers for Trump had argued that he was within his First Amendment rights to challenge the outcome of the election and to allege that it had been tainted by fraud, and they accused prosecutors of attempting to criminalize political speech and political advocacy.
The election at the US Supreme Court could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The DC Circuit stated that he acknowledged that he had done something personal in order to get the result reversed in his favor. The ruling said the claims were certified so that Trump could have gotten the court to intervene based on his own interests.
“Defendant argues that it would be unconstitutional to start 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 now because no other former Presidents have been charged with a crime,” Chutkan wrote. “But while a former President’s prosecution is unprecedented, so too are the allegations that a President committed the crimes with which Defendant is charged.”
The person accused of making false statements to further a criminal conspiracy and obstruct the electoral process is not being prosecuted simply for making false statements.
“The defendant is not above the law. He is subject to the federal criminal laws like more than 330 million other Americans, including Members of Congress, federal judges, and everyday citizens,” prosecutors wrote in court papers.
Smith has separately charged Trump in Florida with illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate after he left the White House. Trump is accused of trying to overturn his election loss to Biden. And he faces charges in New York related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.
The Supreme Court ruled that the president’s campaign to win re-election is not an official act of the office, as announced by the Justice Department
The president’s campaign to win re-election is not an official presidential act, according to the ruling handed down this morning.
The court said that campaigning to gain that office was not an official act of the office.
The Justice Department concluded in March of this year that Trump could be sued over the attack, but did not mean to say that presidents are protected from lawsuits over their speech.