Trump Asks Appeals Court To Give Him Immunity From January 6th Protest

(PresidentialInsider.com)- Former President Trump wants a federal appeals court to decide that he is immune from civil charges alleging he incited January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

Trump’s attorneys requested the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to reject a February decision by a federal judge not to dismiss civil cases trying to hold Trump liable for his fiery comments before the Capitol brawl.

Trump’s attorneys claimed Obama appointee Judge Amit Mehta didn’t dismiss the complaints because he didn’t like Trump’s January 6 address encouraging his supporters to “fight like hell.” Trump’s attorneys argued immunity cannot be “undercut if the presidential act is controversial with the judiciary.”

“The fundamental factual issue over January 6, 2021, Capitol violence arouses the passions of many Americans. It’s crucial not to let the judiciary judge the President’s political words and rhetoric,” Trump’s attorneys said.

Trump’s lawyers invoked these arguments to ward off lawsuits from injured senators and Capitol police officers. A House committee and the Justice Department are investigating the Capitol attack and Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election.

In recent days, federal prosecutors have explicitly probed witnesses about Trump’s role in election-overturning efforts, signaling the Justice Department is actively probing the former president.

Federal officials confiscated the phone of Trump adviser John Eastman weeks earlier. On the same day last month, FBI agents raided the residence of former Justice Department employee Jeffrey Clark.

In his February judgment, Mehta acknowledged presidential immunity but said Trump’s January 6 speech was “akin to telling an excited mob that corn dealers starve the poor in front of the corn dealer’s home.”
Trump fired a tweet admonishing the then-Vice President for lacking “courage to protect our Country,” Mehta said.

Mehta wrote that removing a president’s civil immunity is a big step. The court knows the stakes. But the case’s claimed facts are without precedent, and the court feels its finding is compatible with immunity’s aims.

Trump’s attorneys said other ways to penalize a president for misbehavior.

In early 2021, a “Democratic-controlled House” scolded Trump over the incident, using impeachment as an example. Trump’s attorneys warned any litigation beyond his impeachment constituted harassment.

In February, the Senate acquitted Trump 57-43.

Trump’s team said that hyperbole about January 6 violence shouldn’t impair Trump’s legal protection as a former president. They said President Trump is safeguarded by absolute presidential immunity since his words were a public concern.

Trump’s attorneys requested oral arguments from the DC Circuit.