DC Judge Mulls Trump ‘Absolute Immunity’ Claim in Jan. 6 Civil Suits

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Monday questioned former President Donald Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” and whether his silence Jan. 6 could amount to an “agreement” with rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, The Hill reported.

Trump’s lawyers are attempting to dismiss a series of lawsuits against the former president for his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6. Two of the three lawsuits were filed by Democrat members of Congress and the other by a pair of Capitol Police officers injured during the fighting.

“The words are hard to walk back,” U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, a former President Barack Obama appointee, said during a hearing on civil lawsuits. “You have an almost two-hour window where the president does not say, ‘Stop, get out of the Capitol. This is not what I wanted you to do.'”

“What do I do about the fact the president didn’t denounce the conduct immediately … and sent a tweet that arguably exacerbated things?” the judge asked. “Isn’t that, from a plausibility standpoint, that the president plausibly agreed with the conduct of the people inside the Capitol that day?”

Trump’s attorney, Jesse Binnall, pushed back, arguing Trump cannot face legal consequences for actions he did not take.

“That absolute immunity of the presidency is very important,” Binnall contended.

If Trump’s call to action at the rally was misinterpreted by the crowd, and they still became violent, “Wouldn’t somebody who’s a reasonable person say, ‘That’s not what I meant?'” Mehta asked one of the lawyers.

He also pointed out how Donald Trump Jr., another defendant in court Monday, texted the White House chief of staff asking for the president to condemn the violence.

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