According to legal experts, a recent Justice Department letter may pave the way for former President Donald Trump to be criminally charged for his participation in the tragic Capitol riot on January 6.
The DOJ last week released a legal brief regarding a civil lawsuit brought by Capitol police officers injured on January 6, 2021, following instructions from the District of Columbia’s appellate court, rejecting Trump’s assertion of presidential immunity from the complaints.
The agency said that even if a statement is proven to have incited violence, the president cannot entirely escape responsibility for it. The department also made it clear that his First Amendment free speech rights did not cover his provocative statements.
The DOJ document has been dubbed a blockbuster and might lead to a swarm of civil cases being filed against the former president, according to former prosecutor Charles Coleman Jr. Legal analysts assert that the memo may also assist set the framework for criminal prosecution of Trump in addition to possibilities for lawsuits.
A source familiar with the DOJ investigation told The Daily Beast that if they adopted the stance that the president was totally immune, they wouldn’t be able to launch a criminal case.
Even while the DOJ made clear in its memo that it expresses no view on that decision, or on the validity of the accusations in plaintiffs’ lawsuits, legal experts claim that the memo renders Trump unprotected.
The Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney, Fani Willis, is overseeing an inquiry into Trump’s attempts to overturn his loss in the state; she may benefit from the DOJ document. The DOJ document may support Willis’ case if she decides to prosecute Trump because it asserts that some actions taken while a president are illegal.
Donald Trump Criminal Indictments
Political experts believe that even if most of the prospective criminal charges against Trump resulted in convictions, he would still be able to run for office.
He could run for president again, as he is doing right now, barring only a conviction for instigating an uprising. But, detractors contend that Trump’s numerous alleged transgressions must be held accountable in order for American democracy to remain strong.
Special counsel Jack Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead the DOJ’s numerous inquiries into possible wrongdoing by Trump. This includes an investigation into his suspected handling of secret information that he allegedly stole after leaving the government and his participation in the violence at the Capitol.
In the latter case, after a thorough investigation by the House Select Committee on January 6, Trump was submitted to the DOJ for four criminal charges.
The former president has been accused of malfeasance in numerous legal instances, although Trump and his team have consistently denied this. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner’s predictions about Trump’s legal prospects were earlier rejected by a representative for the former president, who also questioned his reliability.