A federal judge on Tuesday denied former President Donald Trump’s bid to dismiss three lawsuits against him by police officers injured in the Jan. 6 riot, rejecting his claim that he is “absolutely immune” from the allegations.
The lawsuits, filed on behalf of four police officers, seek to hold Trump responsible for emotional and physical injuries he suffered when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and disrupted the counting of election votes.
“In nearly identically worded motions, President Trump moved to dismiss all three lawsuits on one ground: he is entirely immune from suit because the acts complained of fall within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his presidential responsibilities,” Judge Amit Mehta wrote. short decision.
The judge noted that he had rejected similar arguments by Trump in other lawsuits on Jan. 6 earlier this year. “The court does it again,” Mehta wrote.
That earlier ruling stated that Trump’s alleged actions in inciting the insurrection “thoroughly concern[ed] his efforts to stay in office for a second term” and “do not fall within the ‘outer perimeter’ of a president’s official powers,” a finding that Mehta reiterated on Tuesday.
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has already appealed the judge’s February ruling in other cases.
In a legal brief filed last week, Trump’s lawyers urged the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia District to find that Mehta wrongly concluded that courts must consider the content of a president’s remarks when deciding whether immunity applies. “Examining the content of a tweet or speech constitutes an invasion of executive power,” they said.
The former president’s lawyers argued that by challenging the election results in the weeks leading up to and on January 6, Trump exercised the president’s ability to use the bully pulpit and “engaged in an open discussion and debate about the integrity of the 2020 elections”.
Mehta had found that Trump’s actions were “not related to his duties to faithfully execute the laws, conduct foreign affairs, command the armed forces, or manage the executive branch. They are entirely about his efforts to stay in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts.”