Jessica Marie Watkins (2nd from left) and Donovan Ray Crowl (center), both from Ohio, are marching down the east stairs of the US Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia under supporters of US President Donald Trump in Washington, January 6, 2021 Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their role in the siege of the Capitol.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
Ten more Democratic congressmen joined a federal lawsuit on Wednesday accusing former President Donald Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and several far-right groups of conspiring to instigate the Capitol’s deadly riot on Jan. 6.
The lawsuit, first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., And the NAACP, accuses defendants of violating a federal law by fomenting violence in order to prevent Congress from upholding President Joe Biden’s election. The said law, the Ku Klux Klan Law, was first used in the late 1800s to attack the racist KKK for its violence against black Americans and its harassment of members of Congress from the South.
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the suit cites extremist groups the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and War Boys as defendants.
Members of the House who joined the lawsuit are: California Representatives Karen Bass, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters; Steve Cohen from Tennessee; Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey; Veronica Escobar from Texas; Hank Johnson Jr. from Georgia; Marcy Kaptur from Ohio; Jerry Nadler from New York; and Pramila Jayapal from Washington State.
An amended version of the lawsuit adding the new members of the House as plaintiffs and making additional charges was filed in the US District Court in Washington DC. future and unspecified financial loss.
The uprising at the Capitol began shortly after Trump, Giuliani and other supporters of the then president spoke to thousands at a rally outside the White House, encouraging people to help them fight Biden’s confirmation as president.
Trump and his lawyers falsely claimed for months that he was conned for an election victory over widespread voting fraud in several states.
Five people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol police station, Brian Sicknick.
In the lawsuit, the defendants are accused of coordinating efforts to undermine the democratic electoral process and block the legal votes of millions of black American ballots.
“I joined this complaint as a plaintiff because the threat to the security of our democracy as well as to me personally was blatantly and violently ignored. Account must be given for the violent disruption of our business and the personal fear that has arisen” , Watson Coleman said in a statement.
A Trump and Giuliani spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to the lawsuit, during the invasion of the Capitol, Cohen began to think through hundreds of rioters about where he would like to be buried if he was murdered, and that he would spend hours in his office in the dark holding a baseball bat. during the outage.
It notes that Jayapal tested positive for Covid-19 days after she and other members of the House took refuge during the riot in a small room where some representatives refused to wear masks.
And the suit says that after realizing she escaped by being injured or killed in the riot, Lee began finalizing plans for her estate after January 6.
Thompson said in a statement, “I find it encouraging to be joined by ten of my colleagues in this critical attempt to hold former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys accountable for their respective roles on January 6. attack on the Capitol. “
“We owe it to our families, the American public, and history to uncover the truth about the conspiracy that prompted a violent mob to raid the Capitol in an attempt to hinder the peaceful transfer of power,” Thompson said.