Science

Judge rejects Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” in suit stemming from 2020 election

Washington — A federal judge in Washington has rejected former President Donald Trump’s claim of absolute immunity in a civil lawsuit related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The opinion was released Monday by US District Judge Emmett Sullivan from a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the NAACP and three Michigan voters who accused the former president and the Republican National Committee (RNC) of violating federal voting rights and civil rights. Imposed. The law conspired to disenfranchise voters and keep Trump in office despite the electoral loss.

The groups asked Sullivan, who sits in federal district court in Washington, to allow her to amend her complaint to address concerns regarding her claim under the Voting Rights Act and to include new factual information regarding conduct by the RNC and Trump. add charges.

The party and Trump opposed the request, with the former president arguing that he has absolute immunity from damages for actions taken within the “outer perimeter” of his official responsibility as president. Trump’s lawyers told the court that his actions were taken to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” around the 2020 election.

Sullivan accepted a request from civil rights groups to file an amended complaint, issuing his 23-page opinion finding that Trump’s conduct was “purely political” and outside the scope of the president’s official duties.

Sullivan wrote, “If former President Trump obstructed the certification of the election vote count, as plaintiffs allege here, such actions would not constitute executive action in defense of the Constitution.” “For these reasons, the Court concludes that former President Trump is not immune from monetary damages in this lawsuit.”

Sullivan also rejected an argument from the RNC and Trump that the groups’ second amended complaint is frivolous, writing that three of the individual plaintiffs live in Michigan, a state where they allege Trump used voter disenfranchisement ” Tried again and again”.

,[T]The Court concludes that Plaintiffs’ allegations support serious, substantial harm from former President Trump’s ongoing efforts to intimidate officials, spread false claims of fraud, and jeopardize their right to vote. Plaintiffs are black voters specifically targeted by former President Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud.”

Sullivan continued: “The Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged, for purposes of the motion to amend, that the Trump Defendants not only caused substantial harm to Plaintiffs in the past but also a substantial harm to Plaintiffs’ fundamental rights in the future.” The right to vote also posed a great risk.”

Lawyers for Trump and the RNC did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment on Sullivan’s decision.

The NAACP, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and three voters filed their lawsuit against Trump in late November 2020, weeks after the presidential election and before the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The groups accused the former president and the RNC of violating the Voting Rights Act and conspiring to interfere with civil rights. He asserts that Trump and the GOP conspired to prevent the count of legally cast ballots, intimidate election officials, subvert and subvert the will of voters, and ensure Trump the presidency despite losing to President Biden. With the aim of.

In April, the court asked Trump and the RNC to dismiss the Voting Rights Act claim, after which the group sought to amend their complaint. In addition to seeking to address concerns about his claim under the Voting Rights Act, civil rights groups also sought to add factual allegations to evidence that became available after his initial trial.

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