The Department of Justice has argued in a Thursday brief sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that former President Donald Trump cannot claim immunity in regard to the civil suits he faced in relation to his alleged involvement in the January 6th, 2021, Capitol riot.
As the Department of Justice correctly states, “the incitement of imminent private violence” does not fall within the presidential duties. As such, Trump cannot receive immunity for it as it is outside of his constitutional and statutory duties at the time. They further argue that it is also not part of “any plausible understanding of the president’s traditional function of speaking to the public on matters of public concern.”
This is why in their statement the Department of Justice is arguing that the decision to extend his immunity “would contradict the ‘constitutional heritage and structure.'”
However, Trump’s team responded to the statement by arguing that Trump had only urged his supporters to peacefully protest on January 6th, 2021, and that any actions that were later taken at the Capitol were not his responsibility. They further argue that President Trump had authorized the mobilization of the National Guard troops but that the move was blocked by Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
They continue to write that while the “Department of Justice has rightfully agreed that presidential immunity is broad and absolute” and that if that was not the case, President Biden would be liable for the disaster that ensued after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as well as for the situation in the southern border.