- The DOJ says Donal Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 riot.
- This does not have anything to do with criminal charges.
- Trump can be held liable for damages.
On Thursday, the US Department of Justice found that former president Donald Trump could be sued for damages related to the Jan. 6 assault on Capitol Hill. This is because he incited his supporters who invaded Congress.
The assault on the Capitol took place just days after the start of 2021 when Biden was elected president. A total of five people were killed in the violence.
DOJ says Donal Trump can be sued
The United States Department of Justice declared on Thursday that former President Donald Trump can be sued by police or legislators for damages related to the January 6 riots in 2021, according to the AP.
The department’s position, that Trump is not immune from litigation in this case, was laid out in federal appeals court filings. A federal judge in Washington last year rejected Trump’s attempts to dismiss lawsuits filed by lawmakers and two Capitol Police officers.
The DOJ says Trump was wrong to incite the rioters
The DOJ said that, while a president has broad authority to communicate with the public on issues of national concern,»But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.»
The document is signed by lawyers from the department’s Civil Affairs Division and does not affect the separate criminal investigation into whether Trump can be criminally prosecuted for his attempts to reverse the election results. In fact, the lawyers stress that they are not taking a position on the criminal vulnerability of Trump or anyone else.
Judge says Trump «incited» violence
The federal judge, who last year rejected Trump’s proposals to dismiss lawmakers’ lawsuits, said the former president’s statements «probably» led to the attack on Capitol Hill.
In his ruling, Judge Amit Mehta said Trump’s words at the rally leading up to the violence were likely «words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.»
Lawsuits have already been filed
Lawsuits have already been filed by Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell and officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, although other Democratic representatives later joined, according to The Associated Press.
The lawsuit alleges that the former President of the United States and others made «false and inflammatory allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to calls for violence made by the defendant at the rally, a violent mob attacked the US Capitol.»