(JustPatriots.com)- On Monday, a federal judge suggested that former President Donald Trump’s silence during the 3-hour riot at the Capitol on January 6 could be construed as a tacit agreement with the rioters’ actions.
US District Judge Amit Mehta made this suggestion to the former president’s lawyers during a hearing to dismiss a series of lawsuits seeking to hold Trump financially liable for the January 6 riot.
Mehta asked what he was supposed to do about the fact that Trump didn’t immediately denounce the riot. He asked, “from a plausibility standpoint,” isn’t the delay enough to infer that the president was condoning the conduct of the rioters.
Jesse Binnall, Trump’s attorney, pushed back arguing that the former president can’t face legal consequences for actions he didn’t take.
The motion for dismissal is related to three separate lawsuits against Trump, two were filed by Democrat lawmakers and one was filed by a pair of Capitol Police officers injured during the rioting.
One lawsuit filed by members of Congress was initially brought by Congressman Bennie Thompson in February 2021. Ten other Democrat lawmakers joined the suits in April. Thompson later withdrew from the suit after Nancy Pelosi named him chair of her partisan select committee.
Mehta is mainly focused on whether or not the lawsuits against Trump can move forward. And to do so, Mehta must determine if the complaints against Trump are plausible and legally sound.
In the hearing, Mehta suggested that if his words were misinterpreted leading to violence, it would be reasonable to “just come out and say, wait a second, stop.” He noted the revelations from the select committee that even the former president’s son had implored former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to have his father denounce the violence.
Trump’s lawyers meanwhile contend that Trump is immune from civil lawsuits for acts he did as president.
Mehta, an Obama appointee, has also overseen some of the cases involving January 6 defendants. In recent weeks, he has made it clear that he believes the role of powerful actors, including the former president, was an important driver of the breach of the Capitol on January 6.