Trump January 6 speech may not be protected

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in federal appeals court that when Trump made his speech to followers before the January 6 attack on the capitol, he was acting within his official role as president and could not be sued by Democratic members of Congress and Capitol police officers. The appeal judges were skeptical that when Trump said “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” that he was acting in official capacity. (Yahoo! News, December 7, 2022, by Aaron Katersky)

The judges appeared to lean toward the conclusion that Trump’s statement was “arguable incitement” rather than protected speech under the First Amendment. The plaintiffs are suing under a federal law that prevents the use of force, threats or intimidation to prevent government officials from discharging their duties and allows award for damages. The plaintiffs say that Trump conspired with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to stop the election certification, resulting in injuries and psychological harm. (The Washington Post, December 7, 2922, by Rachel Weiner)

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