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A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court ruled Friday that former President Donald Trump is not shielded by presidential immunity from civil lawsuits resulting from the Capitol incursion.
As a result of the decision, lawsuits by Capitol police officers and Democratic members of Congress can move forward, according to CNN. The ruling is not the same as handing those suing Trump a victory; it only means that Trump cannot have all the suits thrown out on the grounds of presidential immunity.
Steven Cheung, a representative of Trump’s 2024 campaign, said the ruling was “limited, narrow and procedural.”
“The facts fully show that on January 6 President Trump was acting on behalf of the American people, carrying out his duties as President of the United States,” Cheung said in a statement.
As noted by NBC, Trump can appeal the three-judge panel’s decision to the full Appeals Court. If Trump loses there, he can seek to have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling from Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan sought to create a barrier between acts Trump took as president, which would be covered by immunity, and those he took as a candidate, which it said were not.
“The object of a President’s official-act immunity is to assure that he can fearlessly and impartially discharge the singularly weighty duties of the office. The President, though, does not spend every minute of every day exercising official responsibilities. And when he acts outside the functions of his office, he does not continue to enjoy immunity from damages liability just because he happens to be the President,” the ruling began.
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