Roivant Sciences’ founder and CEO Vivek Ramaswamy sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 2, 2023, in relation to the indictment of former President Donald Trump. The lawsuit asserts that the DOJ’s prosecution of Trump is politically motivated and infringes on his First Amendment rights. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The DOJ’s use of the infrequently used accusation of seditious conspiracy against Trump is particularly contested in the case. Ramaswamy contends that the accusation is unlawful because it is too broad and might be used to accuse anyone who expresses political views that are contrary to those of the government.
The lawsuit also questions the DOJ’s choice to indict Trump before giving him a chance to present his defense in court. Ramaswamy claims that this goes against Trump’s entitlement to due process.
The DOJ has not yet answered the complaint.
- The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which is a federal court that has jurisdiction over cases involving the federal government.
- The lawsuit was filed by Ramaswamy on his own behalf, but he is also representing a group of other plaintiffs who are concerned about the DOJ’s use of the seditious conspiracy charge. The other plaintiffs include the following:
- The Republican National Lawyers Association
- The National Legal and Policy Center
- The Foundation for Government Accountability
- The Thomas More Society
- The lawsuit is seeking a declaratory judgment that the DOJ’s indictment of Trump is unconstitutional, as well as an order preventing the DOJ from further prosecuting Trump.
- The lawsuit is being closely watched by legal experts, who are interested to see how the court will rule on the constitutionality of the seditious conspiracy charge.
The seditious conspiracy allegation is an uncommon one, reserved for situations involving substantial threats to the government. The charge was last used in 1983 when white nationalists were found guilty of planning to overthrow the government.
Ramaswamy claims that the Department of Justice’s use of the seditious conspiracy allegation against Trump is unlawful because it is overly broad. Because the charge does not define “sedition,” it is open to interpretation by the authorities. This might lead to the government prosecuting people for First Amendment-protected political speech.
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Ramaswamy further claims that the DOJ’s move to indict Trump without allowing him to defend himself in court violates Trump’s due process rights. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
This means that the government cannot deprive someone of their rights without first providing them with a fair hearing.
The Department of Justice has yet to react to the lawsuit. The court’s decision in the case is unknown, but it is expected to be widely observed by legal experts and the general public.
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