Former President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani are being accused of conspiring with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite the January 6 insurrection in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by the Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The suit alleges Trump violated the Ku Klux Klan Act which was passed in 1871 in response to KKK violence and intimidation preventing members of Congress from carrying out their constitutional duties.
“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.”
The lawsuit, filed by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, is the first civil action filed against the former President related to the attack at the US Capitol.
“As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes,” the lawsuit states, “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 carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence. 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.”
The NAACP is backing the lawsuit and helping to represent Thompson in court.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr Trump did not organise the rally that preceded the riot and “did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on January 6th”.