Former President Donald Trump, his attorney Rudy Giuliani, and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been accused of conspiring to incite the Capitol insurrection on January 6, according to a new lawsuit from Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The suit was filed in a federal court in Washington under the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against any violence that might interfere with Congress or its mandate.
“The Defendants each intended to prevent, and ultimately delayed, members of Congress from discharging their duty commanded by the United States Constitution to approve the results of the Electoral College in order to elect the next President and Vice President of the United States,” the lawsuit said. “Pursuing a purpose shared by Defendants Trump and Giuliani as well as Defendant Proud Boys, Defendant Oath Keepers played a leadership role of the riotous crowd and provided military-style assistance sufficient to overcome any Capitol Police resistance.”
“Inciting a riot, or attempting to interfere with the congressional efforts to ratify the results of the election that are commended by the Constitution, could not conceivably be within the scope of ordinary responsibilities of the president,” Joseph Sellers, a Washington lawyer who along with the NAACP filed the lawsuit on Thompson’s behalf, said in an interview with NY1.
Trump’s attorneys have denied that he incited the insurrection and made that the focal point of their case during his recent impeachment trial, which ended in an acquittal. Republicans who voted against convicting the former president suggested it would be unconstitutional to impeach and try a president who is no longer in office, adding that it would be more prudent to litigate Trump in federal court.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.