Trump Said 'We,' Judge Notes in Preserving Jan. 6 Lawsuits

Ruling in conspiracy case says former president's words could be taken as exhorting crowd to act
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2022 3:36 PM CST
Trump Said 'We,' Judge Notes in Preserving Jan. 6 Lawsuits
With the White House behind him, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Former President Trump's speech at a rally just before rioters attacked the US Capitol sounded like "a call for collective action," a federal judge said Friday in dealing the former president a significant loss in court. The comments were included in US District Judge Amit Mehta's ruling declining to block lawsuits accusing Trump of conspiring with extremist groups to prevent the transfer of power to President Biden on the day the electoral vote results were to be certified in Congress. Mehta said the evidence suggests Trump knew the crowd he'd invited to the White House rally on Jan. 6, 2021, included violent people when he told it to march on the Capitol, Politico reports.

Mehta's 112-page ruling cited the president's repeated use of the plural first-person pronoun as indicative of his plans. Trump told the people at the rally: "We will not take it anymore." "We will stop the steal." "We will never give up." "We will never concede." "We will not take it anymore." "All Mike Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify, and we become president." And Trump's tweets that day about Vice President Mike Pence being the last hope to prevent a stolen election could be taken as a "tacit agreement" with the rioters, the judge wrote.

The decision means Trump, aides, and family members could be open to legal demands for depositions and documents. Mehta did agree to take Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani off some suits, per CNN, and said he plans to do the same for Republican Rep. Mo Brooks. The civil case against the former president, however, will move into evidence-gathering. Mehta said he understood the seriousness of his ruling. "The President's actions here do not relate to his duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or managing the Executive Branch," Mehta said. "They entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term." (More Donald Trump stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.