A Democratic congressman on Tuesday sued former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and two extremist groups, alleging they incited the deadly Capitol riot in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The suit by Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson claims Trump and Giuliani launched a drawn-out attempt to overturn the election results that culminated with the Jan. 6 riot, which was spearheaded by far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
The suit was filed in federal court in Washington, DC, under a 19th-century law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act and is the first in a number of suits expected to be filed against Trump after his acquittal by the Senate in his second impeachment trial.
“During the presidential campaign, Defendant Trump repeatedly declined to agree
that, regardless of the outcome of the election, he would ensure a peaceful transition of power,” the suit states.
“In doing so, he solicited the support of, and endorsed the belligerent and violent actions of, organizations such as the Proud Boys that expressed support of his reelection,” it adds.
Trump’s long-running effort to overturn the election results culminated in the Capitol riot, which was stoked by the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6, the suit alleges.
After the rally, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers helped launch the assault on the Capitol with the specific intention to block the certification of the 2020 presidential election, the suit further alleges.
“As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes, Defendants Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, through their leadership, acted in concert to
spearhead the assault on the Capitol while the angry mob that Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited descended on the Capitol,” the suit states.
“It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College,” it adds.
The suit is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.