Trump tries to claim presidential immunity for Jan. 6 speech, Justice Department says ‘Bye, Felicia’
For the first time, the Department of Justice has weighed in on former President Donald Trump’s claims of presidential immunity in the civil litigation regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The answer is a resounding “no.”
“The United States respectfully submits that the Court should reject that categorical argument,” the department wrote in a 32-page brief. It went on to say, “No part of a president’s official responsibilities includes the incitement of imminent private violence,” according to CNN.
It doesn’t get more incendiary than that.
Trump and his team have been vocal about the U.S. House Select Committee’s public hearings on the Jan. 6 attack, often referring to it as a one-sided miscarriage of justice. Appeals have been put forth, but according to the Department of Justice, they’re unwarranted.
Historically, the DOJ has steered clear of drawing lines in the sand, especially since time-honored court precedents have protected presidents from civil litigations. The Jan. 6 Capitol riot has proven to be an anomaly ⏤ such an anomaly, in fact, that the department urged the three-judge appeals court to avoid letting this situation set a precedent for future cases.
On Jan. 6, former President Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell” against President Joe Biden’s election win. He insisted that “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” All this while his supporters cheered, roared, and eventually battered their way into the Capitol, threatening to hang former Vice President Mike Pence and hunt for former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The insurrection resulted in the death of seven individuals, one of which was Rosanne Boyland, who was crushed in a stampede, and Officers Jeffrey Smith and Howard S. Liebengood, who died by suicide days later according to The New York Times.
Trump has yet to respond to the DOJ’s decision ⏤ one that clearly puts him on the wrong side of the battlefield ⏤ but something tells us that won’t be the case for long.