Judge rules Trump can be sued over Jan. 6

 December 3, 2023

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that former President Donald Trump can be sued over the events of Jan. 6.

The long-awaited ruling remained an important step in special counsel Jack Smith's Washington case against the former president.

The ruling

"The sole issue before us is whether President Trump has demonstrated an entitlement to official-act immunity for his actions leading up to and on January 6 as alleged in the complaints," the court said in its ruling.

"We answer no, at least at this stage of the proceedings. When a first-term President opts to seek a second term, his campaign to win re-election is not an official presidential act," it added.

Still to come

"Mr Trump can still argue in future cases that he was acting as president, not as a candidate. He could also challenge the ruling at the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court," BBC reported.

"Nonetheless, the unanimous decision could pave the way for further lawsuits against Mr Trump over his part in allegedly inciting the violence," it continued.

Now what?

"The decision comes as Trump’s lawyers are arguing he is also immune from prosecution in the separate criminal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith that accuses Trump of illegally plotting to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden," PBS reported.

"Smith’s team has signaled that it will make the case at trial that Trump is responsible for the violence at the Capitol and point to Trump’s continued embrace of the Jan. 6 rioters on the campaign trail to argue that he intended for the chaos that day," it noted.

The case is in addition to other legal battles Trump continues to face in New York, Georgia and Florida.

The New York fraud case against his business has concluded and he now awaits the ruling.

The other cases still remain as Trump seeks a comeback bid to the White House next year against President Joe Biden.

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