Trump will not appeal civil immunity ruling: Report

 February 18, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has decided not to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the appellate court's civil immunity ruling. 

Politico reports that Trump had until Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, to file the appeal with the high court, but Trump allowed the deadline to come and go without doing so.

This particular situation has to do with lawsuits from individuals looking to hold Trump civilly responsible for the Capitol Protest of Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump had previously attempted to get these lawsuits thrown out by claiming that he has absolute immunity from such lawsuits for official actions that he took while he was the president of the United States.

More details

These civil lawsuits have been pending since 2021. They were brought by members of Congress as well as by police officers who were at the protest on Jan. 6, 2021.

The cases have not gotten very far because of Trump's immunity defense.

This issue made it to the Washington, D.C. Appellate Court, where a three-judge panel ruled that Trump is not protected by this immunity defense.

Politico reports, "The unanimous ruling of the three-judge panel, which included a Trump-nominated judge, concluded that Trump’s remarks to supporters on Jan. 6 appeared to be delivered in his capacity as a candidate for reelection — not in his official capacity as president."

Accordingly, the appellate court is allowing the civil lawsuits against Trump to proceed. And, now that Trump has decided not to appeal the appellate court's immunity ruling, it appears that these lawsuits will proceed sooner rather than later.

It's not over yet

Steven Cheung, one of Trump's spokespeople, has put out a statement making it clear that, just because Trump decided not to appeal the matter, does not mean that Trump has given up on the case.

"President Trump will continue to fight for presidential immunity all across the spectrum," Chueng said.

Here, there is little doubt that Chueng is also referring to Trump's attempt to invoke the doctrine of presidential immunity to dismiss the so-called election interference case that Special Counsel Jack Smith has brought against Trump.

Trump, here, has appealed the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, and there is a chance that the justices' ruling could have an impact on several cases that Trump is currently facing.

There is even the possibility that it will impact the civil liability cases - despite the appellate court's ruling. Politico reports:

But Trump’s allies say he is leaving the door open to reviving a challenge to the ruling later in the process. He could try another appeal after the next round of fact-finding is complete, and the trial judge issues another ruling on whether the cases can proceed.

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