President Donald Trump looks on at the end of his speech during a rally to contest the certification of the results of the 2020 US presidential election by the US Congress on January 6, 2021 in Washington, USA.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
The NAACP and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sued former President Donald Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two right-wing groups on Tuesday for plotting to incite the fatal Jan 6 Riots in the US Capitol.
The lawsuit, which is likely to include other Democratic lawmakers, cites the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which accused the defendants of conspiring to prevent Congress from electing Joe Biden to confirm to president.
This law was passed 15 years after the end of the civil war in response to the violence of the racist KKK and its intimidation of South Congressmen.
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, defendants in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC include the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups, members of which were known to be among the thousands of people who broke into the Capitol last month.
Jessica Marie Watkins (2nd from L) and Donovan Ray Crowl (center), both from Ohio, march with the Oath Keepers militia group among the supporters of US President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington down the eastern front steps of the US Capitol Both have since been charged by federal authorities for their roles in the siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
The lawsuit comes three days after Trump was acquitted of instigating the uprising in his second Senate impeachment trial. Only seven Republicans voted to condemn Trump.
Trump had said without evidence for months before election day that the 2020 presidential contest would be fraudulent. He spent two months after his loss to Biden falsely claiming that he won the election and that there was widespread election rigging that passed the official results on to the Democrats.
On January 6, shortly before the Capitol invaded, Trump, Giuliani, and other speakers at a rally outside the White House encouraged supporters to oppose the confirmation of Biden’s victory by a joint congressional session, which is usually a formality.
In a press release announcing the lawsuit, the NAACP said: “The uprising was the result of a carefully crafted plan by Trump, Giuliani, and extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, all of whom shared the common goal of using intimidation. Harassment and Threats to Stop Electoral College Certification. “
US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gestures as Trump supporters gather in the White House before his speech to confirm the results of the 2020 US presidential election in Washington, USA, on January 6, 2021 Contest US Congress.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
“They succeeded in carrying out their plan. After seeing the Capitol police barricade the doors of the house’s chamber with furniture, Congressman Thompson and other lawmakers put on gas masks and were taken to the Longworth House office block to take them.” More than 200 other representatives, employees and staff members sought protection. “
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of a coordinated plan to undermine the democratic electoral process and block the legal votes on millions of ballots cast by black Americans.
“January 6th was one of the most shameful days in our country’s history and was instigated by the president himself,” Thompson said in a statement.
Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, listens during a hearing in Washington, DC, the United States, on Thursday, September 17, 2020.
John McDonnell | Bloomberg | Getty Images
“His joyful support of violent white supremacists resulted in a rupture of the Capitol that put my life and that of my colleagues in grave danger. It is a coincidence that the outcome was no more fatal. While the majority of Republicans in The Senate have a responsibility to holding the president accountable has been given up. We must hold him accountable for the uprising he has so obviously planned. “
Thompson added that the failure to hold the defendants accountable “invites this kind of authoritarianism to the right-wing anti-democratic forces so intent on destroying our country.”
Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said in a statement: “President Trump was acquitted in the recent Democratic witch hunt and the facts are irrefutable.”
“President Trump did not plan, produce or organize the January 6 rally on the Ellipse. President Trump did not instigate or conspire violence in the Capitol on January 6,” Miller said.
He added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “And Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, have to answer questions about why they turned down additional Security and National Guard assistance in the run-up to Jan. 6. “
Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.