Donald Trump Receives Bad News from D.C.

( – On April 18, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that civil lawsuits, filed by a handful of police officers and Democratic lawmakers who had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, against former president Donald Trump over his actions on Jan. 6 could proceed.

In March, Trump’s lawyers filed a motion to pause the civil lawsuits, arguing the civil lawsuits should not proceed while the 2020 federal election interference case brought by Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith plays out in court. In the filing, Trump’s attorneys wrote that “basic fairness to criminal defendants” warrants pausing the civil lawsuits while the federal election case continues.

In a previous motion, his attorneys argued that his trial strategy for the criminal case could be revealed if the lawsuits were allowed to proceed. Trump has also claimed presidential immunity protects him from the lawsuits.

Appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama, Mehta ruled the public has an interest in the prompt resolution of the criminal case and civil lawsuits. Mehta added that with “appropriate safeguards” in place, the lawsuits can continue without infringing on Trump’s right to avoid self-incrimination.

In his ruling, Mehta gave Trump a deadline of May 1 to provide a “detailed description of the basis for his immunity defense.” Mehta wrote that the court would not “make an immunity determination” before the Supreme Court issues its ruling.

The ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court Justices are set to hear Trump’s argument that he has presidential immunity, which protects him from facing criminal charges related to his actions on Jan. 6.

Mehta presided over the criminal trial of former Trump aide Peter Navarro, who is serving a four-month sentence in prison for not complying with two subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating Jan. 6. His ruling comes as Trump was in Manhattan Criminal Court for the third day of jury selection in the hush-money trial where he faces 34 counts of allegedly falsifying business records regarding a payment made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

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