Disgraced former President Donald Trump is now facing the prospect of multiple lawsuits being filed against him by Capitol Police officers, lawsuits that could bury him to the point of financial ruin.
When Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow democracy on January 6th as part of a scheme to keep Trump in power despite President Joe Biden winning the 2020 Election, Capitol Police officers were killed, injured, and traumatized. Despite claiming to back police officers, Trump incited the crowd of right-wing extremists and they had no problem attacking the officers in their desperate plan to assassinate lawmakers and overturn the election results.
Now two of the officers who protected the Capitol that day are suing Trump in a lawsuit that could mushroom and bankrupt him and his family.
“[I]t is a no-frills lawsuit filed March 30 by two Capitol Police officers who stood their ground against the insurrectionists, and paid a heavy physical and psychological toll for doing so, that holds perhaps the greatest promise of making Trump pay for directing the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on his command,” Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe wrote in the Boston Globe.
The strength of the suit by Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby is in its time-tested simplicity. Not relying on any act of Congress but merely invoking common-law principles buttressed by Washington, D.C., code provisions prohibiting incitement to riot and provocation of violence, their suit centers on claims that Trump directed, aided, and abetted the garden-variety torts of assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. These are the kinds of tort claims pleaded every day in courts across the country, tracing their roots to the most foundational precepts of the English common law. The complaint alleges that Trump was guilty of ‘intentional, wanton and reckless conduct’ as he ‘spurred’ a violent crowd ‘already primed by his months of inflammatory rhetoric’ to cause grave damage and injury to property and persons, including the two Capitol Officers.
Because Trump lives in Florida and the officers live in the DC area, the filing becomes a “diversity lawsuit” that will be sorted out by the US District Courts and juries, which are likely to be sympathetic towards the police officers, who have a strong case. And all 140 Capitol Police officers could file similar lawsuits.
“[T]hey all seek not only compensation, though they don’t glamorize it, but compensation for the harm, plus punitive damages to punish the president for what he did,” Tribe said during an appearance on MSNBC. “And to deter future presidents. So these are very standard lawsuits and I can imagine that the emotional as well as legal appeal of these lawsuits to a garden variety jury will be very large. So when you combine the lawsuits that are also strong brought by members of Congress with these suits, it’s hard to see how the president will not be held accountable.”
Here’s the video via YouTube:
Indeed, Trump already faces several lawsuits, not only from members of Congress whose lives were threatened that day, but by organizations such as the NAACP and others.
Rightfully so. If Trump thought he could get away with trying to overthrow democracy, he was wrong. And it’s going to hit him where it hurts the most. His wallet.
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