A United States federal appeals court ruled Friday that former president Donald Trump can be sued over the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol that saw his supporters attempt to thwart certification of his election loss to Joe Biden.
Trump could now face civil action over the violent clashes which saw a mob overrun law enforcement at the nerve center of American democracy. More than 1,200 people have been arrested over the melee.
Two Capitol police officers along with several Democratic lawmakers sued Trump in 2021, alleging that he may have incited violence in his public comments to supporters before they descended on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s legal team had argued that, as president, he had immunity for his actions, including comments telling his supporters to “fight like hell” as Congress prepared to certify his election defeat.
“It is not that President Trump could not establish his entitlement to immunity… it is that he has not done so,” said the unanimous ruling by a panel of judges of the US Court of Appeals.
The 77-year-old Trump is to go on trial in Washington in March on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election won by Biden.