Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 riot, Justice Department says

Trump has argued he has absolute immunity that protects him from being sued.

Published: March 2, 2023 1:01pm

Updated: March 2, 2023 1:24pm

The Justice Department said Thursday that former President Donald Trump can be sued for the actions of the rioters in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Speaking to the public on matters of public concern is a traditional function of the Presidency," Attorneys for the Justice Department’s Civil Division wrote, according to The Washington Post. "But that traditional function is one of public communication. It does not include incitement of imminent private violence."

Two U.S. Capitol Police officers and 11 Democratic House members joined in a lawsuit to hold the former president liable for their physiological and physical effects from the riot.

An appeals court remained undecided in December after considering whether Trump was acting within his official duties when he held the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the riot. The court asked the Justice Department to give an opinion on the case, which it offered Thursday.

Trump has argued he has absolute immunity that protects him from being sued.

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