Judge Upholds Case Against Trump Stemming From Officer Brian Sicknick’s Death

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Federal Judge Amit Mehta has this week rejected arguments from former President Donald Trump for an indeterminate delay in the civil lawsuit brought by the longtime romantic partner of the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick over the events of January 6, 2021.

On that day, Sicknick participated in the defense of the Capitol against rioting Trump supporters, and he died very soon afterwards. A medical examiner credited Sicknick’s death to natural causes but did not discount the events of January 6 as having exacerbated his state, and Sandra Garza, who brought the lawsuit, also named two individual members of the Capitol mob in her original filings, in which she sought $10 million in damages from Trump and the two rioters — each.

Trump had been arguing for a halt to Garza’s case in light of the criminal charges he is facing in connection to that day’s events. Such a case was filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith at the federal Justice Department, and Smith’s team in court filings has specifically tied Trump to the events of January 6, noting even how he sought to utilize what happened in his then-continuing push against the Congressional certification of 2020’s election as Congress worked to reconvene. Mehta cited a public interest in the continued progression of Garza’s case, which was originally filed earlier this year.

Bloomberg reporter Zoe Tillman explained that Trump’s lawyers had contended the former president in the civil case may be essentially required to “sacrifice a more robust defense” through means like refusing to testify “to protect himself against the criminal charges,” evidently assuming some kind of possibility for what Trump says in Garza’s case to be used against him elsewhere in court.

Similar arguments were utilized amid the partial overlap in investigative focus from New York state Attorney General Letitia James and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which have both examined Trump business practices. The idea at that time was that Trump family members should be shielded from questioning before James ended up filing her major, ongoing lawsuit because of the Manhattan criminal case, which was covering similar ground