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US appeals court rejects broad immunity claim for Trump in Jan 6 violence case

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Washington, DC | December 2, 2023 5:50:13 AM IST
A federal appeals court in the US has rejected a broad assertion of immunity for former President Donald Trump over the January 6 violence at the White House, where his supporters attempted to thwart the certification of his election loss to Joe Biden, The New York Times reported on Friday.

It reported that the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution gives presidents immunity from being sued over actions taken as part of their official duties, but not from suits based on private, unofficial acts. The civil cases brought against Trump have raised the question of which role he was playing at the rally he staged on Jan. 6, when he told supporters to "fight like hell" and urged them to march to the Capitol.

Essentially, the appeals court ruled that at this stage of the case, that question has yet to be definitively answered. It said Trump must be given an opportunity to present factual evidence to rebut the plaintiffs' claims that the rally was a campaign event, scrutinizing issues like whether campaign officials had organized it and campaign funds were used to pay for it, The New York Times reported.

"Because our decision is not necessarily even the final word on the issue of presidential immunity, we of course express no view on the ultimate merits of the claims against President Trump," Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote for the panel, as reported by The New York Times.

He added, "In the proceedings ahead in the district court, President Trump will have the opportunity to show that his alleged actions in the run-up to and on Jan. 6 were taken in his official capacity as president rather than in his unofficial capacity as presidential candidate."

The panel allowed three civil cases to proceed for now in Federal District Court in Washington against former US President Trump.

Meanwhile, the New York appellate court reinstated the gag order against former President Donald Trump in the ongoing USD 250 million civil fraud trial, CNN reported.

The gag order prohibits Trump and attorneys from making public statements about the courtroom staff in the ongoing trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron originally issued the order barring Trump from making public statements about his court's staff after Trump made numerous comments about a clerk accusing her of being "biased" against him. (ANI)

 
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