Monday, a federal court determined that Donald Trump cannot claim presidential immunity to escape a lawsuit accusing him of civil rights abuses in his efforts to damage the outcome of the 2020 election.
Trump contended that he was “totally immune” from damages for conduct inside the “outside perimeter” of his official duties as President and that his 2020 post-election efforts were part of an attempt to safeguard and defend the Constitution.
According to the verdict, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington agreed with the challengers — the NAACP and Michigan voters and activists — that Trump’s behavior was “purely political.”
Sullivan stated if Former President Trump disturbed the certification of the electoral vote count, as the Plaintiffs allege, such activities would not constitute presidential action in defense of the Constitution. Based on these considerations, the Court decides that Former President Trump is not immune from monetary damages.
According to the judge, the plaintiffs can file an updated lawsuit against Trump and the Republican National Committee but have not yet ruled on their civil rights violation liability.
Trump attorney Jesse Binnall and RNC attorney David Warrington, representing Trump in his lawsuit opposing a subpoena issued by a congressional committee on January 6, did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
It’s the most recent verdict against Trump’s immunity claims in Federal Court in D.C. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta declared in February that Trump must face lawsuits to hold him legally accountable for violence and disruption at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Congress gathered to recognize President Joe Biden’s victory.
According to United States District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta, denying immunity to the President is no small matter. In making its decision, the Court understands the gravity of the matter. According to Mehta, the alleged facts of this case, the Court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes of such immunity.
Before Sullivan is a case that precedes the January 6 attack. Plaintiffs claim Trump and the RNC of colluding to disenfranchise voters, intimidate election officials, and widely undermine validly cast ballots in violation of
Additionally, there is the federal Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act.
Sullivan rejected the Voting Rights Act claim earlier, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that Trump and the RNC were causing continued injury. The plaintiffs requested to submit an amended case with additional material documenting Trump’s alleged ongoing efforts to undermine the 2020 election results and interfere with subsequent elections. This time, Sullivan determined that the claim may proceed.
Sullivan stated the Court believes that the Plaintiffs’ allegations establish significant, substantial injury from Former President Trump’s continuous and ongoing efforts to intimidate authorities, propagate false accusations of fraud, and endanger the right to vote. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, representing the plaintiffs, did not reply quickly to a request for comment.
Ten members of Congress brought the lawsuit in which they alleged that Trump conspired with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite a violent riot on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Judge Mehta denied motions to dismiss from Trump, the Oath Keepers, and Enrique Tarrio of the Proud Boys.