The American Tribune reported on a little-noticed development related to an outstanding case against former President Donald Trump stemming from the January 6th, 2021 breach at the Capitol in which a federal judge dismissed in part allegations that the president was responsible for the death of a Capitol police officer that day.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta concluded that the case, brought by the officer’s former girlfriend, did not have standing because the two were not a lawful couple at the time of his death. In a 12-page decision, he wrote:
“Under § 32-702(i), the District of Columbia recognizes domestic partnerships that are “established in accordance with the laws of other jurisdictions[.]” Garza does not allege that she and Officer Sicknick filed the requisite “declaration of domestic partnership” under District of Columbia law.”
Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes one day after J6, leading his partner Sandra Garza to file suit against President Trump and two protestors, Julian Khater and George Tanios, for instigating an encounter that she claimed contributed to a stroke that Sicknick later suffered. She sought damages for wrongful death, conspiracy to violate civil rights, and negligence per se.
“Nor does she claim that they formed a domestic partnership under the law of any other jurisdiction. Her contention that a “domestic partnership” was established simply by Officer Sicknick having identified Garza as his “domestic partner” in his will finds no basis in the plain text of the statute. Garza therefore cannot recover the damages she personally seeks under the Act. The Wrongful Death Act claim therefore is dismissed,” Judge Mehta continued on that point.
Other civil suits have already acknowledged that a claim of negligence per se cannot be brought against President Trump as a result of the J6 riots, the judge adds.
“Section 1752(a)(2) bars individuals from “knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engag[ing] in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions[.]” … Section 1752(a)(4) prohibits “knowingly engag[ing] in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds[.]” … Like the District’s anti-riot statute, these federal criminal laws do not “impose specific guidelines to govern [a defendant’s] behavior” but instead “are generally drawn statutes applicable to all and prohibit certain” conduct…Because violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1752 do not give rise to a negligence per se claim, Count 5 is dismissed.”
Two counts in the suit were allowed, including one under D.C.’s Survival Act and the other of which is the conspiracy to violate civil rights claim.
Commenting on the ruling, Garza’s attorney Mark Zaid told Fox News, “We are pleased to see that our lawsuit in pursuit of justice for the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection, has been permitted to continue. We are now considering our next step options, to include deposing former President Trump.”
President Trump still faces two federal cases related to J6 at the hands of Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith. His first trial is slated to begin March 4th, though an appeals court must first rule whether the 45th president’s claims of immunity prevent him from facing trial.