Donald Trump has made a career out of dodging trouble. He’s so slippery, in fact, that he’s earned the nickname “Teflon Don”, and this has been absolutely infuriating to Democrats the nation over. Their efforts to damage his chances at reelection in 2024 have comes in many shapes and sizes and sharpnesses thus far, and they’re not done yet.
This week, after thus far refusing to charge Trump on any of the 4 criminal referrals they received from the January 6th select committee, the Department of Justice proclaimed that Trump could still be sued in civil court over the incident.
The Justice Department said Thursday that police officers can sue former President Donald Trump over the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Attorneys for the Justice Department’s Civil Division said in a court filing in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that Trump does not have absolute immunity from multiple civil lawsuits, filed by police officers and members of Congress, that seek to hold him liable for damages stemming from the riot.
“Speaking to the public on matters of public concern is a traditional function of the presidency, and the outer perimeter of the president’s office includes a vast realm of such speech,” the brief said. “But that traditional function is one of public communication. It does not include incitement of imminent private violence of the sort the district court found that plaintiffs’ complaints have plausibly alleged here.”
This isn’t the first time that the issue has come up, either.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta first rejected Trump’s immunity claim in February 2022, ruling that the speech Trump gave during the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse cannot be considered part of his official presidential duties.
“The president’s actions here do not relate to his duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or managing the executive branch,” Mehta wrote at the time. “They entire concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts, so the separation-of-powers concerns that justify the president’s broad immunity are not present here.”
The move will almost certainly divert resources from Trump’s campaign to the Trump legal team, and at a crucial moment in the former President’s schedule.
Trump was quickly acquitted of “inciting” the Capitol riots by the Senate during his second impeachment trial. No charges have been filed against him by the DOJ in the matter either.