Floodgates Have Been Opened: Appeals Court Clears Path for Civil Lawsuits Against Trump Over Jan. 6 Capitol Riot


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has made a significant decision that could have far-reaching implications for former President Donald Trump.

In an order issued on Friday, March 8, 2024, the appeals court paved the way for three civil complaints against Trump related to the events of January 6th, when the U.S. Capitol was stormed by a violent mob.

The court’s decision comes after Trump missed the deadline to contest the civil lawsuits at the Supreme Court in February, indicating a potential legal setback for the former president.

The order referenced a recent case, Blassingame v. Trump, which established that Trump lacks presidential immunity for actions taken in his personal capacity as a presidential candidate, rather than in his official capacity as sitting President.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that Trump violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits mob violence directed at federal officials. Among the plaintiffs is Capitol Police Officer Moore, who filed a complaint against Trump in 2022. Moore accuses Trump of inciting the attack on the Capitol by spreading false claims of election fraud, which ultimately led to violence and chaos on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to Moore’s lawsuit, Trump’s rhetoric served as a “call to arms” for the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol.

Despite not being scheduled for duty on Jan. 6, Moore was called in by a superior and spent over 12 hours defending the Capitol against rioters, including members of the Proud Boys extremist group.

Moore’s lawsuit seeks to hold Trump accountable for a range of offenses, including assault and battery, incitement of a riot, disorderly conduct, and civil conspiracy.

The decision by the appeals court to allow these lawsuits to proceed opens the floodgates for potential civil liability cases against Trump for his role in the events of January 6th.