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Monday, December 09, 2019

Former President Trump incites riot on DC Capitol

Former "defeated" President Trump's bigly bad week concluded with US District Judge Amit Mehta flatly rejecting his motion to dismiss three cases regarding his conduct on January 6, 2021, thus allowing the major suits to proceed. And assuming the ruling holds amid a Supreme Court stuffed with Trump goons, it's almost inevitable that Mr. Fifth Amendment will be forced to go under oath during discovery.

The three cases consist of Swalwell v. Trump, in which Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell sued Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Don Jr. and GOP Rep. Mo Brooks; Thompson v. Trump, in which 11 Democratic representatives sued the former president, his lawyer, and both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers; and Blassingame v. Trump, in which two Capitol Police officers are looking to hold Trump accountable for their injuries on January 6. Most important, all the plaintiffs sued under the premise that Trump and the other defendants conspired to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, a Reconstruction Era statute that makes it illegal to impede a government official carrying out his or her official duty. Moreover, impeding the transfer of power to Joe Biden.

Trump has vigorously (and poorly) argued that he was simply exercising his First Amendment right in summoning the mob to DC, in which he instigated their violent reaction with election lie after lie. In order to chip away at this defense, the plaintiffs have alleged trump engaged in illegal incitement. In other words, his speech was “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” and that it was “likely to incite or produce such action," which is known as the Brandenberg standard.

According to Judge Mehta, the plaintiffs appear to have satisfied that need.

"The prospect of violence had become so likely that a former aide to the President predicted in a widely publicized statement that “there will be violence on January 6th because the President himself encourages it.” Thus, when the President stepped to the podium on January 6th, it is reasonable to infer that he would have known that some in the audience were prepared for violence," wrote Mehta.

"Yet, the President delivered a speech he understood would only aggravate an already volatile situation. For 75 uninterrupted minutes, he told rally-goers that the election was “rigged” and “stolen,” at one point asserting that “Third World Countries” had more honest elections. He identified who the culprits were of the election fraud: “radical Left Democrats” and “weak” Republicans. They were the ones who had stolen their election victory, he told them. He directed them not to “concede,” and urged them to show “strength” and be “strong.” They would not be able to “take back [their] country with weakness.” He told them that the rules did not apply: “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.” And they would have an “illegitimate President” if the Vice President did not act, and “we can’t let that happen.” These words stoked an already inflamed crowd, which had heard for months that the election was stolen and that “weak politicians” had failed to help the President."

With the legal ramifications and ruling that Trump and his spawn must respond to questions about the Trump Organization, the possibility of Trump being tried for stealing classified documents, and now a DC judge's ruling rejecting Trump's desire to dismiss lawsuits pertaining to the violent DC insurrection, the walls appear to be closing in on the twice-impeached, one term, con man.

Michael Hayne is a comedian, writer, voice artist, podcaster, and impressionist. Follow his work on Facebook and TikTok

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