A legal hurdle emerged for former President Trump on Wednesday as his endeavor to postpone a civil lawsuit concerning him, which seeks restitution for the infamous Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, was thwarted by a federal judge.
This rebuff arrived subsequent to Trump’s indictment on federal criminal accusations in relation to the 2020 electoral proceedings and the aforementioned Jan. 6 event. Trump’s legal counsel had, during August, strived to halt the civil lawsuit, referencing a considerable intertwining of issues.
“This case remains at the motion-to-dismiss stage,” Judge Amit Mehta articulated in a succinct order on the Wednesday in question, branding the delay plea as “unwarranted.”
“The claimed dilemma posed by simultaneously defending himself in this case and his criminal case only will arise, if at all, during the discovery phase. His request is therefore premature. Further, the balance of interests, including Plaintiff’s and the public’s in moving this matter forward, do not favor a stay,” Mehta said.
Embarking on the legal offensive, Sandra Garza, the enduring companion of Brian Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer whose life ceased mere hours subsequent to the Capitol onslaught, initiated a lawsuit against Trump, nearly coinciding with the second commemoration of Jan. 6. It came to pass that Sicknick encountered pepper spray amid the mayhem and tragically succumbed the ensuing day after enduring two strokes. A subsequent medical examination declared his demise a result of natural causes, albeit with a mention that the day’s harrowing events “played a role in his condition,” as per the U.S. Capitol Police’s affirmation of Sicknick’s in-the-line-of-duty death.
Trump’s bid for a litigation hiatus emerged a scant few days after his confrontation with four criminal counts in Washington, D.C., directed at his purported endeavors to subvert the 2020 electoral outcome, inclusive of allegations pertinent to Jan. 6. This indictment marks one among four, to all of which Trump has entered a plea of not guilty.
“Absent a stay, President Trump will be placed in the untenable position of fully litigating this case and risking his criminal defense, or pleading the Fifth Amendment and hampering his chance of success in this case,” the defense counsel of Trump conveyed in court documentation.
Moreover, the lawsuit by Garza extends its accusatory finger not solely at Trump, but also at two rioters who allegedly assailed Sicknick and faced charges concerning their riot involvement, although no request for a pause has been made by them. The lawsuit, asserting wrongful death among other accusations, demands a minimum of $10 million from each defendant, coupled with punitive damages.
Trump, on a separate legal front, entreated the judge for an exclusion from the lawsuit, advocating his presidential immunity and spotlighting that the assertions revolve around his political speech protected by the First Amendment.
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