Another legal action against former President Donald Trump for the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been given the green light by a federal judge.
On Thursday, US District Judge Amit Mehta rejected a plea to dismiss the case made by Trump and a number of far-right activists who were also charged with involvement in the Capitol siege.
US Capitol Police officers filed the lawsuit, alleging that Trump and others broke both federal and DC law for actions related to the incident that prevented Congress from certifying the 2020 election.
Mehta cited an opinion he wrote the previous year rejecting Trump’s arguments for immunity in order to maintain the validity of the charges against him.
Mehta, a judge on DC’s federal court, said in a ruling on Thursday that the lawsuit filed by the Capitol Police officers might also be pursued against a number of other people, including members of extreme right-wing militia organizations like the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys.
Mehta, however, rejects the police officers’ claim that Roger Stone and Ali Alexander are extremists.
The judge ruled that the First Amendment protects the alleged behavior by Stone and Alexander that was singled out in the lawsuit.
Trump and two other January 6 rioters who attacked Officer Brian Sicknick are named in the case, which was filed in federal court in Washington, DC, and millions of dollars in damages are sought. The day before the second anniversary of the uprising, Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s long-term partner, brought it.
Garza claims that Sicknick died as a result of the violence that was sparked by Trump’s prolonged unwillingness to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory.
According to the lawsuit, “several attackers have since admitted that they carried out the attack according to what they thought to be Defendant Trump’s direct commands in service of their country.”
Trump’s address encouraged people to “fight like hell”, and was “the culmination of a coordinated effort to subvert the certification vote.”
“Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun,” the lawsuit states. “Trump did all these things solely in his personal capacity for his own personal benefit and/or his own partisan aims.”
Julian Khater and George Tanios, two rioters who “engaged in a confrontation” with Sicknick and other officers tasked with guarding the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, are the other two accused.
The lawsuit claims that the rioters destroyed barriers and attacked police with their hands, feet, and “other objects.”