Former Republican President Donald Trump's legal team filed an official appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asking for immunity from civil lawsuits related to the January 6 insurrection a Trump rally and prior rhetoric incited.
Trump's attorneys made clear Trump seeks the reversal of United States District Judge Amit Mehta's February decision, which says Trump could be held civilly liable over the attack and rejected his request for immunity.
The court filing is Trump's latest attempt to evade accountability for his role in inciting the insurrection, which took place after a White nationalist lead mob of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 presidential election had been stolen.
The violence that erupted that day left at least five people dead and resulted in over 100 injuries to law enforcement as well as millions of dollars in damages.
You can read Trump's court filing by clicking on the link below.
Trump's attorneys contend that Trump already faced consequences over the attack when the "Democratic-controlled House" impeached him for it. Given that the Senate later acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote, the legal team said that any further lawsuits would amount to harassment.
Decrying the "hyperbole of violence" in relation to January 6, the legal team claimed Trump "is shielded by absolute presidential immunity" and have requested that the constitutionality of presidential immunity be tested in court.
"President Trump is shielded by absolute presidential immunity because his statements were on matters of public concern and therefore well within the scope of the robust absolute immunity afforded all presidents."
Many have criticized this move as yet another attempt by Trump to obstruct proceedings and not face actual consequences for his role in the attack.
Trump has long suggested that he is protected by executive privilege, which gives Presidents the ability to assert confidentiality and withhold information in the public interest.
He has continued to refuse to comply with the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the insurrection—such as last year, when he declined to submit documentation regarding his mental stability—despite the fact that legal analysts have noted executive privilege does not extend to efforts to stop the certification of an election Democrat Joe Biden won.
Moreover, they have said that executive privilege specifically belongs to the officer-holder: Biden himself.
Last week, the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the insurrection used one hearing to present a cohesive timeline of what Trump did—and did not do—during a crucial 187-minute period while the attack was underway.
The committee said that Trump had shown "complete dereliction of duty" after witnesses testified that he ignored pleas to condemn the violence and call off the mob.
White House officials said that Trump did not make any calls to the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security during the attack and that he sat in the dining room and watched the attack on television.