US Judge Denies Trump’s Request to Throw 1/6 Incitement Suit, But Excuses Giuliani and Don Jr.

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Former President Donald Trump lost an effort to dismiss claims claiming him of encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the United States Capitol on Friday.

Judge Amit Mehta of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia announced in a lengthy written order that three cases filed by Democratic members of Congress and two police officers may go to trial.

Mehta decided to drop Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. as co-defendants in the litigation. A 1982 Supreme Court decision ruling that presidents are protected, or immune, from lawsuits based on their official activities looms big in the litigation.

Mehta decided that Trump was not exempt from the claims, saying that the then-heated president’s address before a Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol did not fall within the scope of his official presidential responsibilities.

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“To deny a president immunity from civil damages is no small step. The court well understands the gravity of its decision,” Mehta ordered. “But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent, and the court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes behind such immunity.”

Democratic politicians, including U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell and Jerry Nadler, have cited a statute created in 1871 to combat the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan that forbids political intimidation.

Trump and his defendants have contended that their statements prior to the Jan. 6 attack were protected under the First Amendment.

James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby are the two Capitol Police officers who have sued Trump.

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