Judge Allows Lawsuit Accusing Trump Of Conspiring To Violate Civil Rights

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A federal judge has allowed just a portion of a lawsuit brought against ex-President Donald Trump by Sandra Garza to proceed, though the case remains significant.

Garza was the longtime romantic partner of the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died very soon after participating in the defense of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Sicknick’s death was eventually attributed to natural causes, though a medical authority allowed for the possibility of various, real-world circumstances — including the riot, where he was attacked — contributing to his condition.

Garza’s case originally accused Trump and two others (who’d joined the riot) of civil liability specifically in connection with Sicknick’s death, but federal Judge Amit Mehta decided that the nature of the relationship between Garza and Sicknick didn’t meet legal standards allowing wrongful death claims. Mehta decided “on the grounds that Garza and Sicknick did not formally or officially declare their domestic partnership,” Forbes summarized.

Parts of the lawsuit allowed, however, to proceed include accusations against Trump and the case’s other targets — both of whom were already sentenced after January 6 charges — of conspiring against civil rights. The judge also “upheld Garza’s survival act claim, which would allow any monetary damages awarded in the case to go to Sicknick’s estate and family members, rather than Garza only,” as summarized in Forbes’ reporting.

Garza is seeking financial penalties on Trump, meaning a large sum the ex-president could eventually be forced to pay for remaining allegations in this case. He also remains subject to other litigation originating with January 6-affected officers that similarly seeks to hold him civilly liable for the Capitol attack, in which a large number of police officers were injured.

In a recent interview with MSNBC, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) directly accused Trump of endangering the lives of law enforcement personnel. Thompson is the top Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security. “And so what they saw, and a lot of us — myself included, was a president of the United States stoking the flames of insurrection on January 6. He encouraged people to come to the Capitol — put members of Congress, staff, law enforcement persons’ lives at risk — we’re a better country than that,” the Democrat told the network’s viewers.