Twice-impeached one-term former president Donald Trump thinks that being president granted him “absolute immunity” to lie, verbally berate and threaten political opponents and incite an insurrection. That’s the premise behind his motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit filed against him by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Swalwell sued the former president, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) in March for what he alleges was the incitement of many of the “Stop the Steal” rally attendees’ assault on the the Capitol in an attempt to prevent certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Trump’s attorney claims that Swalwell’s lawsuit “directly attacks” the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The filing also alleges that the congressman took Trump’s remarks during his Jan. 6 speech out of context and urges the court to dismiss the lawsuit because the “president’s absolute immunity forecloses the jurisdiction of this Court.” It makes the unsupportable assertion that “absolute immunity” is “conveyed on the President by the Constitution as a key principle of separation of powers.”
In his lawsuit, Swalwell alleged that the Trumps, Giuliani and Brooks “convinced the mob that something was occurring that – if actually true – might indeed justify violence, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action.”
“The horrific events of January 6 were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ unlawful actions,” Swalwell’s lawsuit alleges. “As such, the Defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed.”