Trump wants January 6 civil lawsuits against him put on hold while he fights criminal charges

Trump wants January 6 civil lawsuits against him put on hold while he fights criminal charges - World - News

Pausing Civil Lawsuits against Donald Trump: A Legal Strategy Amidst Criminal Trial and Presidential Immunity

Donald Trump’s legal team is making efforts to postpone at least five civil lawsuits that aim to hold the former President accountable for his role in the January 6, 2021, US Capitol riot due to the pending criminal trial. According to filings submitted to a federal judge in Washington, DC, Trump’s lawyers believe that progressing with these lawsuits at this time might compel Trump to disclose his trial strategies for the criminal case.

Trump’s team also desires the judge overseeing these civil cases to await the Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity related to Trump’s criminal case. In their appeal to District Judge Amit Mehta, who presides over the majority of civil January 6 cases against Trump and others, they stated:

“President Trump should not be compelled to waive any constitutional rights in this matter nor prematurely reveal his criminal defense strategies prior to the completion of the criminal proceedings.”

Further, they argued that, “The only way to adequately protect against this prejudice to his legal position is to stay these proceedings with respect to President Trump until the Special Counsel’s D.C. case is resolved.”

These ongoing civil lawsuits and Trump’s criminal case touch upon intricate, historically substantial issues concerning the immunity of a president from accountability. An appeals court has ruled that a president is not immune to being sued for actions linked to their campaign. Currently, Trump’s criminal case remains on hold as the Supreme Court ponders Trump’s argument for absolute presidential immunity from criminal charges.

Trump’s team maintained that delaying civil cases when an individual faces both a criminal defense and related lawsuits is not an uncommon practice. Those suing Trump, including Democratic congressional members who were under attack inside the Capitol, injured police officers defending the building, and the partner of a police officer who died hours following pepper spraying during the riot, are expected to submit their responses to Trump’s request next week.

Judge Mehta is unlikely to make a determination regarding the continuation of these lawsuits until after all filings are submitted in April. In previous rulings, Mehta showed signs of inclination towards holding off any depositions of Trump in the lawsuits while his criminal case is ongoing. Trump enjoys the constitutional right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment, meaning he could decline answering questions in a civil deposition. However, refusing to answer questions in a civil deposition might be detrimental to his case.

Trump’s lawyers argued that, “If President Trump is impeded by the civil litigation issues presented in this case or, even worse, compelled to choose between presenting his strongest defense in one case or the other, the appearance of justice could easily be damaged. Accordingly, it is in the public interest to allow President Trump to defend the criminal proceeding against him without the burden of this case.”