Former President Donald Trump has been sued by two Capitol Police officers over injuries they sustained during the Capitol riot on January 6. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court for the District of Columbia by James Blassingame, a 17-year veteran of the force, and Sidney Hemby, an 11-year veteran. The men seek damages of at least $75,000 each.
“This is a complaint for damages by US Capitol Police officers for physical and emotional injuries caused by the defendant Donald Trump’s wrongful conduct inciting a riot on January 6, 2021, by his followers trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit adds that Trump stoked violence for years and that his rhetoric ultimately contributed to the storming of the United States Capitol, which resulted in five deaths, including that of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, after Trump urged a mob of his supporters to stop the electoral certification of President Joe Biden‘s win.
“During his 2016 campaign, and throughout his presidency, Trump had threatened violence towards his opponents, encouraged his followers to commit acts of violence, and condoned acts of violence by his followers, including white supremacists and far rightwing hate groups,” it said, adding: “Trump’s December 19th tweet about the January 6th rally was taken by many of his supporters as a literal call to arms.” (Trump had tweeted, “Big protest on DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.“)
The lawsuit isn’t the only one Trump is facing in relation to the events of January 6.
Earlier this month, Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) filed a lawsuit against Trump and his allies for inciting the attack. The 65-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., names Trump, his son Donald Trump, Jr., his attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) of inciting the insurrection against Congress as well as violating D.C. and federal laws.
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.
Last month, a lawsuit from Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, 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 lawsuit accuses Trump, Giuliani, and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers of conspiring to incite the insurrection.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.