Trump is trying again to get absolute immunity from civil lawsuits related to the Capitol riot.
Trump’s team filed an application on July 27 to appeal an earlier court decision.
The February judgment ruled that Trump could be held liable for wrongdoing in civil suits.
Former President Donald Trump is trying once again to get a court to grant him absolute immunity against civil suits related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Filing in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday, Trump’s team appealed for the reversal of US District Judge Amit Mehta’s February decision.
Mehta’s ruling stated that Trump could be held civilly liable in lawsuits related to the Capitol riot.
Noting the repeated use of the word “we” in Trump’s statements, Mehta said that this implied that Trump and rally-goers would have been “acting together toward a common goal” on January 6, 2021.
“That is the essence of a civil conspiracy,” the judge wrote.
The filing by Trump’s team was first shared by Politico reporter Josh Gerstein in a tweet on Wednesday night.
In the filing, Trump’s lawyers argued that there are existing means of punishing a president for bad behavior which don’t involve civil suits.
Citing impeachment as an example, they wrote that a “Democratic-controlled House” had already taken Trump to task for the riot, claiming that any further lawsuits would amount to harassment. The Senate acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote.
They also stated that “hyperbole about the violence of January 6” should not undermine Trump’s protection from legal action as a former president.
“President Trump is shielded by absolute presidential immunity because his statements were on matters of public concern and therefore well within the scope of the robust absolute immunity afforded all presidents,” Trump’s team stated in the filing.
The former president’s lawyers also stated that Trump wants wants oral arguments in the case to answer the “important constitutional question” of whether he has absolute immunity.
The application comes amid a Rolling Stone report that Trump believes running for president in 2024 will grant him legal immunity. The former president is currently facing multiple legal troubles including investigations into his company’s finances.
He could also face a Department of Justice investigation into his role in the Capitol riot. This notion was raised again last week when Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the DOJ was looking to hold to account all who are “criminally responsible” for the riot.
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