Update: Police Officers file their brief in U.S. Court of Appeals opposing Trump’s immunity bid.
On September 23, 2022, Officers Blassingame and Hemby, through their attorneys at the Patrick Malone law firm and the nonprofit Protect Democracy, filed their brief in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The legal filing explains in detail why the appeals court should reject Trump’s bid to avoid accountability for the January 6 insurrection. Trump has appealed the district court’s rejection of his motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Trump contends that as president, he should have “absolute immunity” from this lawsuit arising from injuries suffered by the police officers defending the Capitol in the January 6 riot. The officers’ brief was filed jointly with two groups of members of Congress who have also sued Trump for their injuries on January 6.
The joint brief for all the plaintiffs explains why the Constitution gives no immunity from civil lawsuit to a President who used an angry mob to physically attack a coequal branch of government, Congress, while Congress was exercising a function exclusively assigned to it by the Constitution, the counting of the Electoral College votes from the 2020 election.
As the plaintiffs wrote in their brief: “There is simply no constitutional basis for Trump’s immunity claim. It is inconceivable that he was carrying out any function of the presidency when he directed his supporters to use violence and intimidation to halt the constitutionally prescribed process for counting Electoral College votes. To the contrary, he was doing the very opposite of what our Constitution, and our nation’s two-hundred year history of peaceful transfers of power, demand of a sitting president.”
Trump has one more brief to file in the appeals court, and then the court is likely to hold an oral argument late this year or early next year.
Court Rules Against Trump and Decides that Lawsuit Seeking to Hold Trump Accountable for January 6th Insurrection Will Proceed
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against Donald J. Trump in Blassingame v. Trump. The court denied Trump’s motion to dismiss the case, allowing the case to go forward on the allegations that Trump violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and District of Columbia law on January 6, 2021 when he incited a mob of his supporters to invade Congress and injure more than a hundred law enforcement officers, including the two plaintiffs, Capitol Police Officers James Blassingame Jr. and Sidney Hemby. The decision by Judge Amit Mehta can be found here.
Officers Blassingame and Hemby brought this case to seek redress for the injuries they sustained while serving on duty and to hold President Trump accountable for his role in the attack on our government and electoral system. They are represented by the Washington D.C. law firm of Patrick Malone & Associates and attorneys from Protect Democracy.
Plaintiff James Blassingame said of today’s opinion, “It’s good to see that no one is above the law. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions. Hopefully, a jury will see all of the evidence and make the appropriate determination.”
“The acts of political violence carried out on January 6 caused undeniable harm to our police officer clients, many other police officers, the American people, and our democracy,” said lead counsel Patrick Malone, of Patrick Malone & Associates. “The court’s decision is a victory for Officers Blassingame and Hemby, as well as our democracy, and brings us one step closer to uncovering the truth of what happened on that day. We are heartened by the court’s decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed to discovery.”
“This decision affirms no one is above the law, not even the president,” said Cameron Kistler, Counsel at Protect Democracy, “and those who threaten our democracy will be held accountable for their actions.”
Contact for further information:
Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C.
Patrick A. Malone or Heather Kelly
New January 6 lawsuits filed for injured police officers
Washington, D.C., January 6, 2022:
Patrick Malone & Associates filed three lawsuits in federal court in the District of Columbia on behalf of two United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers, and two officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who were injured in the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.
Plaintiffs, USCP Officers Marcus Moore and Briana Kirkland, and MPD Officers Bobby Tabron and DeDivine K. Carter are suing former President Donald J. Trump. The lawsuits seek accountability for Trump’s central role in inciting the January 6 insurrection and the resulting attack on them and other law enforcement officers defending the peaceful transition of power.
“We’re not going to die like this!” Officer Marcus Moore remembers saying to his fellow Capitol Police officers as rioters pinned him against a wall, punched him repeatedly, sprayed bear spray in his face, called him racial slurs, and threatened to take his weapon from him and kill him with it. Officer Briana Kirkland endured brutal attacks inside and outside the Capitol, even as she heroically aided USCP and MPD officers, and escorted DC EMTs and a critically injured insurrectionist to an ambulance.
Both MPD Officers Tabron and Carter were attacked relentlessly outside the United States Capitol, and in the tunnel inside the ceremonial entrance from the West Front of the Capitol that officers now refer to as the “Tunnel of Death.” They were struck with fists, flagpoles, and projectiles, and sprayed with chemicals by insurrectionists incited by the then president. Officers Tabron and Carter were uncertain whether they would make it home alive, as they battled for their lives and to defend the Capitol.
Officer Moore (age 35), a ten-year USCP veteran, Officer Kirkland (age 29) a five-year USCP veteran, Officer Tabron (age 43), a 21-year veteran of MPD, and Officer Carter (age 33), a five-year MPD veteran, are experienced law enforcement officers, but none of them in their combined 41 years of service had seen or endured anything like the January 6 attack on them by the insurrectionists.
The lawsuits assert that Trump violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits mob violence aimed at obstructing the operations of the federal government and its officers; and violated District of Columbia laws banning, among other things, inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, civil conspiracy, and aiding and abetting assault and battery.
“Our clients suffered physical and psychological wounds as the result of insurrectionists incited by the former president to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” said Patrick Malone, whose Washington, DC, law firm is representing Officers Moore, Tabron, and Carter, along with other police officers from the U.S. Capitol police injured in the insurrection.
Patrick Malone & Associates represents two United States Capitol Police officers in a similar case filed on March 30, 2021, titled Blassingame and Hemby v. Trump, the non-profit Protect Democracy is co-counsel with the Malone firm for Officers Moore, Blassingame, and Hemby.
Patrick Malone and Associates is a law firm based in Washington, DC, which represents regular Americans and their families who have been injured and seeks justice in courts against wrongdoers of all kinds: corporations, the government, hospitals, and individuals.
Contact for more information:
Heather J. Kelly
March 30, 2021: Two veteran US Capitol Police officers have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging the former president should be held legally accountable for the injuries the officers suffered protecting Congress in the January 6 insurrection.
The lawsuit by plaintiffs James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby in federal district court in Washington D.C. seeks unspecified amounts of compensatory and punitive damages against Trump for inciting the riot in which they and other officers were injured. The lawsuit also alleges that Trump aided and abetted the rioters and ratified the rioters’ conduct by praising the rioters even after it was clear that many officers had been injured in the assault on the Capitol.
Their complaint describes a pattern of conduct dating back to the 2016 presidential election in which Trump encouraged violence by his supporters. Among other events, the complaint cites:
- Trump’s refusal in the presidential debate in September 2020 to disavow right-wing extremist groups and his statement in the same debate, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” (The Proud Boys group later played a central role in the January 6 insurrection.)
- Trump’s repeated assertions with no evidence that the election was being stolen from him.
- Trump’s encouragement of two “stop the steal” rallies in November and December 2020 in the nation’s capital during which police officers were injured trying to stop violent conduct by Trump supporters.
- Trump’s invitation to his followers to come to Washington on January 6 for a rally that he promised “will be wild.”
- Trump’s incitement of the riot with a one hour and 15-minute speech at the Ellipse near the White House on January 6 in which he said, among other things:
- “We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal;”
- “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules;”
- “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong;”
- “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore;”
- “And we’re going to the Capitol … But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Officers Blassingame and Hemby both describe a relentless assault by Trump supporters on the afternoon of January 6 that lasted for hours and left them physically and emotionally traumatized and in fear of their lives. Each started the day guarding the east front of the Capitol and then moved inside once the Capitol had been breached by rioters. Each was assaulted with fists and objects and chemical sprays along with violent and offensive words.
Officer Blassingame was inside the Crypt, below the rotunda, when a large group of insurrectionists pinned him against a stone column, injuring his spine and the back of his head. The rioters used their fists and various objects to strike his face, head, chest, and arms. He continues to suffer back pain and emotional trauma, including sleeplessness and depression.
In addition, Blassingame brings a claim of “intentional infliction of emotional distress” for being called the N-word by rioters so many times he lost count. (Complaint paragraphs 91 and 155.)
Officer Hemby was injured while trying to defend the steps to the rotunda entrance on the east front of the Capitol. He was pinned for a time against a large metal door trying to fend off the attackers. Hemby suffered a cut near his eye along with neck, back, and knee injuries, and emotional trauma including nightmares and hyper-vigilance.
Blassingame lives in Rockville MD and is a 17-year veteran of the US Capitol Police. Hemby lives in Waldorf MD and is an 11-year USCP veteran.
The two officers are represented by Patrick Malone & Associates, a D.C.-based personal injury law firm.
A day after the release of a Senate report detailing the widespread security failures in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, we spoke with one of the police officers on the scene that day. Officer James Blassingame, a 17-year veteran of the Capitol Police who is involved in a civil lawsuit against former President Trump, joins Lisa Desjardins to discuss his experiences when a violent mob stormed the Capitol.
Additional Links from the Internet:
Patrick A. Malone
PATRICK MALONE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
1310 L Street, N.W., Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20005