Former President Donald Trump is not immune to claims over the invasion of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, a federal appeals court ruled on December 1.
The court decided that President Trump has not demonstrated presidential immunity from litigation relating to his activities leading up to and on January 6, 2018.
The decision was primarily based on the judgment that President Trump’s re-election campaign was not an official presidential act and hence did not come under presidential protection.
“In arguing that he is entitled to official-act immunity in the cases before us, President Trump does not dispute that he engaged in his alleged actions up to and on January 6 in his capacity as a candidate. But he thinks that does not matter. Rather, in his view, a president’s speech on matters of public concern is invariably an official function, and he was engaged in that function when he spoke at the January 6 rally and in the leadup to that day. We cannot accept that rationale,” U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, an Obama appointee, wrote in the ruling.
“While presidents are often exercising official responsibilities when they speak on matters of public concern, that is not always the case. When a sitting president running for re-election speaks in a campaign ad or in accepting his political party’s nomination at the party convention, he typically speaks on matters of public concern. Yet he does so in an unofficial, private capacity as office-seeker, not an official capacity as office-holder. And actions taken in an unofficial capacity cannot qualify for official-act immunity,” the judge added.
Judge Gregory Katsas, a Trump appointee, concurred, while Judge Judith Rogers, a Clinton appointee, concurred in part.
The panel ruled on President Trump’s appeal after U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, ruled in 2022 that President Trump was not shielded by presidential immunity for his Jan. 6 address.
“To deny a president immunity from civil damages is no small step,” Judge Mehta wrote at the time. “The court well understands the gravity of its decision. But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent, and the court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes behind such immunity.”
Judge Srinivasan noted that the decision is not final.
Donald Trump’s speech on January 6 was common fare and invoked terms that are widespread in political parlance.
It should also be noted that the first breach of the Capitol grounds on January 6, as Ray Epps might say, was “orchestrated” before Trump supporters at his speech could “peacefully and patriotically” make their way to the capitol.
According to an estimate from House Administration Oversight subcommittee chair Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), there were “at least 200″ Feds and undercover operatives working before and during the riots on January 6.
“The FBI was not just participating in the January 6th acts from within,” he said. “I suspect they had over 200 agents embedded in the crowd, including agents or, as they would call it, human assets inside the Capitol dressed as Trump supporters before the doors were opened.”
This figure is in the realm of possibility, given the newly released J6 videos, court documents, and witness statements.
“And when you track the text threads and the communications within those groups and find the origins of suggestions of potential violence or an active occupation of the Capitol on January 6th, you’ll find that those messages were led by members of the groups that ended up to be the FBI agents that had infiltrated the group,” Higgins said.
“So the FBI’s involvement was deep, not just on J6, but on the days and weeks and months prior.”
Hundreds of videos have shown all manner of questionable activity on January 6 that does not comport with a good faith effort to protect the capitol. Several Capitol Police officers held open doors, posed for selfies with protesters, even gave some fist bumps, and videos show the capitol was crawling with undercover police officers, some of of whom even incited protesters and encouraged them to go towards the capitol.
Tucker Carlson even showed how Capitol Police officers did nothing to stop the so-called Q Anon Shaman Jacob Chansley as he went to the Senate chamber for a recorded speech.
These documented facts have caused millions of Americans to conclude that January 6 was some kind of ‘set-up.’
Tarik Johnson, former Lieutenant with the U.S. Capitol Police, is promising more evidence that is going to show that the Capitol riots were a “set-up.”
UPDATE: I spoke to my lawyer and I told him what my plans are as it relates to releasing information on X about the J6 set-up and the cover-up that ensued after. I wanted to see what if any legal ramifications I’d be facing when I do. He stated he didn’t see any and if something…
— Tarik Johnson (@elleonCEOTK) November 30, 2023
“In this case they are EVERYONE in the J6 community as you were set-up and that should not have happened to you even if you did wrong things that day,” the whistleblower remarked, adding that he has already contacted Judicial Watch CEO Tom Fitton with the information.
The Trump “incitement” narrative had been hatched months prior, as the infamous Time “shadow cabal” article made clear. It all began, Molly Ball’s report said, with a three-page confidential memo, never released, titled “Threats to the 2020 Election.”
“Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged,” author John Podhorzer wrote. “On Nov. 3, should the media report otherwise, he will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest.”
This, remarkably, is what seemed to happen. The Time article lays out how there actually was a conspiracy to stop Donald Trump from winning re-election.
The ensuing Capitol riot, predicted for months in advance, was war-gamed multiple times before the Electoral College convened. One of those wargames was run by the “Transition Integrity Project.”
Rosa Brooks bragged in an August 2020 interview about the power-brokers involved in stopping Trump’s potential re-election.
“So they ranged from people like Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, to John Podesta, who has worked for Hillary Clinton, very senior levels, Obama, et cetera. … People like Larry with deep experience, obviously, not only in the military, but Larry also has deep experience at the State Department. … We had former Governor Jennifer Granholm from Michigan. We had Donna Brazile, who is a Democratic consultant. We had Republican political consultants and even a couple of former Republican members of Congress, some of whose names are not yet out there,” Brooks said.
“So it was a very varied group. We had people who had worked for members of Congress at senior levels. We had people who had been members of Congress from both parties. We had journalists. We had people like Bill Kristol on the conservative side, as well as people who had worked for big tech companies. So we really were trying as much as we could to assemble a group of people who, If asked to role play, if asked ‘OK pretend you’re on the Trump campaign, pretend that you’re a Democratic elected official, pretend that you are Facebook or Twitter.’ We wanted people who would have a real life sense of how those actors and organizations likely would behave based on actual experience in those sectors.”
No, the election wasn’t “rigged,” those in the shadow cabal would say, but rather, it was “fortified.” There were more insights from the Time article.
“The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory,” Ball’s report said. “It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.”
“Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result.”
Thus, there was no way that these power-brokers didn’t see a potential scenario where a riot would break out at the Capitol, which would conveniently disrupt the election challenges at the Electoral College and providing a politically useful way to frame Trump and his supporters.
The FBI unconstitutionally used NSA surveillance to track the extremist groups seeking to disrupt the event. It had federal informants embedded in multiple extremist groups, including the Proud Boys.
Yet, somehow, the FBI and Capitol Police were woefully “unprepared” despite multiple advance warnings, including from then Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.
D.C. Mayor Bowser, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and others, refused to press for more National Guard, despite it being documented and on the record that former President Donald Trump wanted 10,000 National Guard troops outside Congress to protect the Electoral College.
Also, there was no ‘centrally coordinated’ plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election, as FBI sources told Reuters in an August 2021 report.
Indeed, that was the entire point of the election challenges during the convening of the Electoral College.
If Donald Trump wanted to overturn the 2020 election results, he would not have disrupted the Electoral College. He would have continued to pursue his legal challenges and his Constitutional right to challenge electoral slates in Congress.
Trump would not have sent in unarmed extremists to disrupt the Electoral College in order to ‘retain power.’ This is not only illogical, it is absurd on its face.
However, that is not stopping U.S. courts from pretending these arguments have any merits. They don’t withstand the slightest bit of scrutiny, but when it comes to defying the will of the people and stopping the presidential frontrunner from being re-elected, facts and evidence appear to be expendable.