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Judge mulls whether Trumpís silence on Jan. 6 could amount to Ďagreementí with rioters

By Curt_Anderson
January 10, 2022 7:09 pm
Category: Law
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(Politico)Donald Trumpís hours of silence while a violent mob ransacked the Capitol ó egged on by his own words and tweets ó could be plausibly construed as agreement with riotersí actions, a federal judge suggested Monday.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta made the analysis as he pressed Trumpís lawyers about their efforts to dismiss a series of lawsuits against the former president seeking to hold him financially liable for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.

ďWhat do I do about the fact the president didnít denounce the conduct immediately?Ē Mehta wondered, homing in on a central focus of congressional investigators probing Trumpís conduct that day. ďIsnít that, from a plausibility standpoint, enough to at least plausibly infer that the president agreed with the conduct of the people that were inside the Capitol that day?

Mehtaís questioning prompted Trumpís attorney, Jesse Binnall, to push back, forcefully arguing that Trump canít conceivably face legal consequences for actions he did not take.

ďThe president cannot be subject to judicial action for any sort of damages for failing to do something,Ē Binnall said.

I believe Binnall is incorrect. First because the case is a civil case. In civil cases there is an "apportionment of responsibility". If the defendant is negligent, even partially negligent, the jury allocates fault, usually as a percentage.

Secondly, Binnall is wrong because inaction can be a crime. There is a lower bar in civil court than criminal court for the defendant to found responsible and punished.

When Inaction Becomes Criminal
(Lexology)"Where a person has created or contributed to the creation of a state of affairs which he knows, or ought reasonably to know, has become life threatening, a consequent duty on him to act by taking reasonable steps to save the otherís life will normally arise."

A recent example of people being charged for their inaction happened recently in Oxford, Michigan, the site of school shooting.

The shooter's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are facing charges of failing to perform their parental duties. They ignored warning signs that their son was mentally ill and dangerous. They failed to tell school authorities that their son was armed with a pistol.

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  1. by HatetheSwamp on January 11, 2022 2:46 am

    I think it's farcical to note where this has gone.

    The House Dems began hoping to prove, confidently I think, that Trump had schemed to lead an insurrection on January 6.

    They got nuthin.

    So, they're settling on trying to make a scandal out of the fact that Trump didn't appeal for an end to the riot.

    There's still a lot of TDS in DC.

  2. by Curt_Anderson on January 11, 2022 9:06 am
    The case mentioned above is a civil case and not part of the House committee's investigation. It's likely there are or will be other civil cases against Trump related to the insurrection.

    I don't believe the House committee has the goal of making the case that Trump led the insurrection. That seems too specific.

    I expect there will be a case made that Trump instigated or at least was involved in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice-President into rejecting valid electoral votes and subvert the essential constitutional function of an orderly and peaceful transition of power.

  3. by HatetheSwamp on January 11, 2022 10:30 am

    As you know, I despise Trump. I think he's despicable.

    My guess that, in a representative republic, it will be nigh unto impossible to demonstrate the desire to "intimidate." After all, it is expected that any citizen with an opinion should express it.

    And, Trump has the evidence of his rally speech, which was very bland by his standards.

    I'm sure that a mind inflamed by TDS will go its death thinking that Trump is guilty. But, there's no evidence of it yet. I'm certain that there never will be any.

  4. by Curt_Anderson on January 11, 2022 11:01 am
    I sincerely doubt that you are really that confident of Trump's innocence. I know that Trump and his army of lawyers aren't confident that Trump won't be found guilty in some court or another.

  5. by HatetheSwamp on January 11, 2022 11:22 am

    I'm confident that Trump won't be found guilty of what you're thinking he did.

    And, as I've been saying, he's too slick to be caught.

  6. by Curt_Anderson on January 11, 2022 3:48 pm
    LOL! You talk about Trump the way prosecutors talk about lawyered up mob bosses.

  7. by HatetheSwamp on January 12, 2022 4:20 am

    I despise Trump. I think he's despicable. I understand very well that he's not a choir boy. I also know that TDSers are irrational in their take on him.

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