Trump Files Complaint to Dismiss Jan. 6 Lawsuit Accusing Him of Inciting Violence - Report
Trump argues that speakers at political rallies do not have a "legally enforceable duty of care" to opponents or others "who might find themselves in the path of impassioned supporters" in a lawsuit accusing him of instigating the Capitol mayhem.
Former President Donald Trump has filed a complaint to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by eight police officers in August, insisting he is not "vicariously liable" for the actions of those who heard him speak at a "Stop the Steal" rally before the siege of the Capitol building on January 6, Bloomberg News reported.
"Speakers at political rallies do not owe a duty of care to members of Congress or Capitol Police Officers not at the rally," the former president's lawyer Jesse Binnall reportedly stated in the filing for the federal court in DC.
Trump reportedly said that his remarks near the White House were in keeping with a president's right to "take advantage of the bully pulpit," as he stands behind the allegations that the 2020 presidential race was stolen by Democrats.
In the filing, Trump insists that he "acted responsibly" during the address and that he "simply called for peaceful and patriotic demonstrations." Trump again denied threatening violence when he claimed it's "a very dangerous moment in our history" and that people are "not going to stand having this election stolen from them."
"Under no stretch of the imagination can those statements be characterized as open threats of violence," he wrote.
It is one of the numerous lawsuits Trump is facing in connection with the unrest that took place on that day.
26 December 2021, 18:25 GMT
According to the August lawsuit by the eight police officers, many of the defendants "planned, aided, and actively participated in that attack," which also cites right-wing groups like the Proud Boys. "All defendants are responsible for it," it says.
The officers accuse them of a conspiracy based on "racism and white supremacy."
The officers reportedly "risked their lives to defend the Capitol from a violent, mass attack [...] in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election."
Trump and right-wing groups "violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was designed to prevent precisely the kinds of politically and racially motivated violence they caused and committed on January 6," according to the officers' lawsuit.
The 1871 statute prohibits attempts to obstruct Congress's ability to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.
Law Professor: January 6 Committee Violates Constitutional Rights of Trump Allies, House's Own Rules
22 December 2021, 17:34 GMT
The officers claim to have been pummeled, assaulted, and sprayed with mace and bear spray, among other things. The action claims that the defendants "caused" the Capitol attack, which Trump and other defendants refute on First Amendment grounds.