The argument is the first time Trump has formally defended his actions in court since the insurrection, and reflects his continued push to his supporters that he did nothing wrong and was robbed of a second term in office.
Trump argues in DC District Court that his bully pulpit message to his supporters at the political rally on January 6 — encouraging them to oppose Congress certifying the vote — was a constitutionally protected act of the presidency.
In what’s become a typical rhetorical defense from Trump, his attorney also throws barbs at his political rivals, trying to equate the ex-President with Democrats.
The filing defends Trump’s effort to question the election results after states had certified their votes, comparing his push of unfounded fraud allegations to Stacey Abrams suing after her Georgia gubernatorial race.
His lawyer also suggests that if Trump were held responsible for the election, Swalwell and Democrats could be held responsible for the shooting of House member Steve Scalise at a baseball practice in 2017, or for a neighbor who attacked Sen. Rand Paul, according to the filing.
“If similar lawsuits were brought based upon those incidents against Mr. Swalwell and his colleagues, they would inevitably be making the same arguments, and rightfully so. As a matter of law, political speakers do not owe a legally enforceable duty of care to their adversaries or others who might find themselves in the path of impassioned supporters,” Trump’s attorney wrote in court.