WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. appeals court on Friday ruled that Donald Trump must face civil lawsuits over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters, rejecting the former president’s claim that he is immune.

The a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that Trump was acting “in his personal capacity as a presidential candidate” when he urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. U.S. presidents are immune from civil lawsuits only for official actions.

The ruling clears the way for Trump to face lawsuits from police officers and U.S. lawmakers seeking to hold Trump responsible for the violence by his supporters during the riot, which was an attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Trump is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the 2024 election.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Scott Malone)