Trump’s Lawyers Dispute January 6 as Insurrection, But Trump Insists: “It Was an Insurrection”

The Supreme Court was engrossed in discussions on Thursday on the matter of whether Donald Trump could be excluded from the 2024 presidential race by states citing a breach of the 14th Amendment, which bars insurrectionists from office. 

Enforcement Doubts

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Despite the serious implications, Chief Justice John Roberts hinted at the unlikelihood of enforcing such a “pretty daunting consequence” against the former president.

Challenging Capitol Riot   

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The justices lightly touched upon the question of Trump’s role as an insurrectionist. Trump’s attorney, Jonathan Mitchell, firmly stated, “This was a riot. It was not an insurrection,” challenging the characterization of the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. 

No Organized Attempt 

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Trump’s legal defense earlier argued against labeling the event an insurrection, claiming it lacked the organized attempt to overthrow or resist the government.

Trump’s Viewpoint

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Contradicting his legal team’s stance, Trump, after the court’s hearing, labeled the event an insurrection, saying, “They kept saying about what I said right after the insurrection.”

Pelosi Responsible for Chaos

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The former president pointed fingers at Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, remarking, “I think it was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi,” after the court hearing outside his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Narrative Flipping Tactic

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This attempt to flip the narrative seems more like a tactic to retaliate against Democratic criticism than a substantiated claim.

Claims Questioned

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The assertion that then-Speaker Pelosi could have incited the January 6 event was met with skepticism and denial. 

Lack of Evidence

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Investigations have found no evidence linking her to the Capitol attack, making it highly implausible that she would have any motive to organize a group brandishing Trump flags to interfere with the certification of a fellow Democrat’s electoral victory.

Baseless Claims

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Pelosi’s spokesperson, Aaron Bennett, responded to Trump’s accusations in a statement to Rolling Stone, dismissing them as baseless. Bennett emphasized the absurdity of the notion that Pelosi would orchestrate her own peril by inciting an attack on the Capitol.

Election Challenge Fallout

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Trump’s endeavors to challenge the 2020 election outcomes, climaxing with the Capitol siege, will cast a long shadow over this year’s election.

Accusations of Disruption

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Federal prosecutors accuse Donald Trump of engaging in activities designed to hinder the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden and to reverse the outcome of the election leading up to and on January 6, 2020.

Imminty Claim Denied

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Trump sought immunity for his presidential actions, but the D.C. Court of Appeals denied this claim on Thursday, stating that he must stand trial on a criminal indictment.

Loss of Executive Immunity

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The unanimous decision of the three penal judges stated, “For the purposes of this criminal case, former President Trump is now citizen Trump, entitled to all the defenses available to any other criminal defendant. However, any executive immunity that may have shielded him during his presidency no longer applies to this prosecution.”

Immunity Threat Analysis

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The judges highlighted the threat Trump’s claims of immunity pose to the United States’ constitutional framework. They argued that accepting the former president’s argument would disrupt the balance of separated powers by exempting the president from accountability to all three government branches. 

Accountability for Former Presidents

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The decision stated, “Presidential immunity against federal indictment would mean that, as to the president, the Congress could not legislate, the executive could not prosecute, and the judiciary could not review. We cannot accept that the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter.”

Congressional Defense

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However, Republican Representatives, including staunch Trump supporters Matt Gaetz and Elise Stefanik, introduced a resolution on Tuesday declaring that Trump is not an insurrectionist.

Trial Date

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Judge Tanya Chutkan has deferred the commencement of the trial, initially scheduled for March 4, as Trump’s assertion of immunity is being adjudicated in the courts.

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