Donald Trump Faces Another Lawsuit: Here we go again.
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It seems like every time you read the news there is another lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.
If you are looking to see another nail in Trump’s coffin or if you are exasperated by just how much people despise him, examine the newest conundrum for Trump’s legal team.
This latest complaint goes back to January 6, 2021, when a Capitol Hill police officer named Brian D. Sicknick died a day after the riots.
Lawsuit Asks for a Total of $30 million from the Defendants
His partner, Sandra Garza, sued Trump in Federal District Court for $10 million and $10 million each against George Tanios and Julian Elie Khater. Tanios and Khater were accused of spraying Officer Sicknick with bear spray on January 6.
Both Tanios and Khater pleaded guilty.
Can Bear Spray Cause a Fatal Stroke?
While the chemical spray was a temporary affliction, the lawsuit said Sicknick was the victim of a wrongful death. “This was a direct and foreseeable consequence of the defendants’ unlawful actions,” the complaint read. “The defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed.”
What Was the Legal Cause of Death?
This is where the suit gets complicated because the plaintiff will have to show there was a clear link between the bear spray attack and Sicknick’s death.
The Washington, DC medical examiner said Sicknick “died of natural causes.” Sicknick had at least one stroke after the insurrection.
Medical Examiner Report Will Be Key Evidence
The prosecutors of the criminal case did not allege that Sicknick’s death was the result of the chemical spray.
However, the medical examiner added in the final report that the ordeal “played a role in his condition.”
Moreover, the Capitol Hill police determined that Sicknick died in the “line of duty.”
Donald Trump Could Be Held Liable
The plaintiff also wishes to tie Donald Trump to the death. Garza is using the Congressional committee that investigated January 6 as evidence that Trump was criminally responsible for the events that led up to Sicknick’s death.
There are three other civil suits that are making similar claims.
Unpredictable Outcome If It Goes to Jury
While Sicknick’s passing is a tragedy (he was only 42), it may be difficult for the jury in the case, should it go to court, to believe that the chemical spray and the events of the day could cause multiple strokes.
On the other hand, Trump may be criminally indicted for inciting the riots and thus the jury would think the alleged crimes could have played a role in the cause of death. The jury’s action will be hard to predict.
The other problem with suing the people involved in the assault is that they will be unlikely to come up with the $10 million should a jury find them liable as well. But Trump definitely has the money.
Tweets and Speech Exhortations Contradict
Trump tweeted different things about the riots. At one point he said supporters should come to Washington and it “will be wild.” But he also tweeted that rioters should go home in peace and respect law enforcement.
It will be up to the jury to weigh these conflicting remarks. Trump’s speech on January 6 did encourage the crowd to go to the Capitol and he did say “fight like hell.”
Another Judge’s Ruling Plays a Role
Meanwhile, a federal appeal’s court judge in Washington is currently deciding on whether a lower court judge’s ruling that Trump be held responsible for January 6 in a civil case is proper. Should that be the case, additional lawsuits could accuse Trump of inciting the mob. Trump’s attorneys want him to be granted immunity.
As Donald Trump descends into more legal jeopardy with the latest suit, his attorneys can try to get it dismissed by questioning whether the plaintiff in the Sicknick case has legal standing or that the report from the medical examiner has contradictory findings.
These developments are definitely a quandary for the former president, and he may just have to settle with the plaintiff, Sandra Garza, and hope for the best in future litigation.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.