(Bloomberg) -- Former president Donald Trump failed to persuade a judge to throw out a civil lawsuit brought by Capitol Police officers over injuries they suffered during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
US District Judge Amit Mehta on Thursday rejected Trump’s claim that presidential immunity protected him from liability for actions that were within his official duties.
The arguments raised by Trump and other defendants were “in large part duplicative of those the court already considered and addressed” in a previous civil suit against the former president, Mehta wrote. In that case, Mehta ruled that Trump’s speech at a rally preceding the riot went beyond protections afforded by the First Amendment and those shielding presidents from civil liability while in office.
Trump has faced widespread criticism for the fiery speech he gave supporters at the rally when he urged them to “fight like hell,” after falsely claiming the election was stolen.
“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” former Representative Liz Cheney said during a congressional hearing into the riot.
During the attack, 140 police officers were assaulted and rioters caused more than $2 million in property damage.
The case brought by the Capitol police officers stands apart because of the long list of 20 defendants, Mehta wrote.
The case is Smith v. Trump, 21-cv-02265, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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