The Department of Justice says it will not back Trump’s claim of immunity against civil suits for his conduct on January 6, 2021.
The DOJ urged a three-judge federal court of appeals panel that a lawsuit brought by members of Congress and Capitol Police officers should proceed, saying that if Trump’s speech on January 6 incited a riot, he is not shielded by immunity.
The consolidated cases against Trump come from members of Congress who ran for cover and police officers who say that Trump conspired to block them from carrying out their duties. Those suits seek to hold Trump liable for physical and psychological injuries.
While the Justice Department traditionally takes a broad view of executive power and defending the prerogatives of the presidency, its brief — submitted in response to the appeals court’s request late last year — said inciting violence was not within a president’s constitutional duties.