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Trump plans to seek Supreme Court review of Jan. 6 civil cases in another push for immunity

In World
January 09, 2024

Donald Trump plans to ask the Supreme Court to hear his claim that presidential immunity should shield him from civil suits related to the Jan. 6 riot, his attorneys said in a court filing Monday.

A federal appeals court last month ruled that the former president was not automatically entitled to immunity from a civil lawsuit seeking to hold him responsible for “physical and emotional injuries” sustained by two U.S. Capitol Police officers during the 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Trump’s filing on Monday requested that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., wait before sending the case back to the lower court in order to give him time to appeal to the Supreme Court. The filing asks the court to wait until Feb. 15, and said the plaintiffs agreed to the delay.

“This is an extraordinary question of law—concerning a question of absolute presidential immunity from civil liability for the actions of a former president during his term in office—that must be resolved before this case, and several other cases revolving around the same question of law, can be resolved,” the filing said.

Trump has argued that any actions he took on Jan. 6 fall under the scope of his responsibilities as president, thereby granting him immunity from civil liability. The appeals court rejected that claim, ruling that his actions were taken in an unofficial capacity as a candidate, but left the door open for him to prove otherwise at trial if the case proceeded.

Monday’s motion was filed one day before Trump’s lawyers are set to argue before the same appeals court in Washington, D.C., that presidential immunity should protect him from criminal liability in special counsel’s Jack Smith’s case alleging he illegally tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, is expected to attend the arguments in person.

Trump has also sought to use presidential immunity to protect a civil suit brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll that’s slated to go to trial next week.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected his bid last month, finding Trump had waited too long — three years —to raise the defense in the defamation case.

Trump then asked for the entire court to rehear the case, a request the 2nd Circuit denied on Monday.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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