On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump urged a federal appeals court in D.C. to rule that he is “shielded by absolute presidential immunity” from civil lawsuits pertaining to his attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election that he lost to Joe Biden.
Trump’s appeal comes after the claim was already shot down by a district court judge, who would not to dismiss Trump as a defendant in several civil suits that wish to hold him accountable for his efforts to overturn the election and his role in the ensuing Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
In February, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said that the controversial former President could be sued for his role in inciting the Capitol violence after his attempts to stop the electoral certification of Joe Biden’s victory as well as his statements at the “Stop the Steal” rally that led up to the attacks, saying that neither of those actions were within his official capacity as President.
Trump attorneys on Wednesday urged the appellate court to find that Mehta was wrong in his ruling.
The statement reads in part:
“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. No amount of hyperbole about the violence of January 6, 2021, provides a basis for this Court to carve out an exception to the constitutional separation of powers.”
In his 112-page opinion rejecting the former President’s claims of absolute immunity, Ahmet argued that Trump’s post-election efforts were not official, but personal in nature, writing:
“After all, the President’s actions here do not relate to his duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or managing the Executive Branch. They entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts, so the separation-of-powers concerns that justify the President’s broad immunity are not present here.”