On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta rejected efforts by TFG to toss out conspiracy lawsuits filed by lawmakers and two Capitol police officers, saying in his ruling that the former president’s words “plausibly” led to the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. The judge said in his ruling that TFG’s words “plausibly” led to the riot on Jan. 6, 2021 and “words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.”
“Only in the most extraordinary circumstances could a court not recognize that the First Amendment protects a President’s speech,” Mehta wrote. “But the court believes this is that case.”
The lawsuits, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby and initially by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., argued that Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks made “false and incendiary allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the Defendant’s express calls for violence at the rally, a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.”
Thompson later dropped out of the lawsuit when he was named to lead the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. The NAACP continued in his stead.