Jessica Marie Watkins (2nd from left) and Donovan Ray Crowl (center), both from Ohio, descend the steps of the Eastern Front of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia among supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, the January 6, 2021 Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their role in the siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
Ten other Democratic members of Congress joined a federal lawsuit on Wednesday accusing former President Donald Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and several far-right groups of conspiring to incite the deadly riot at the Capitol complex on January 6 .
The lawsuit, first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., And the NAACP, accuses the defendants of violating federal law by unleashing violence in a bid to prevent Congress from upholding the election of the President Joe Biden. The cited law, the Ku Klux Klan Law, was first used in the late 1800s to target racist KKK for his violence against black Americans and his intimidation of Southern Congressmen.
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the lawsuit names extremist groups the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and War Boys as accused.
Members of the House who joined the costume are: California Reps Karen Bass, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters; Steve Cohen from Tennessee; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey; Veronica Escobar from Texas; Hank Johnson, Jr. of 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 allegations, has been filed in the US District Court in Washington, DC It seeks a declaratory judgment that the defendants violated the law by their conduct, an injunction against similar actions in future and unspecified financial damages.
The riot on Capitol Hill began shortly after Trump, Giuliani and other supporters of the then president addressed thousands at a rally outside the White House, where they cheered on people to help them fight against Biden’s confirmation as president.
Trump and his lawyers have falsely said for months that he was defrauded of an election victory by widespread electoral fraud in several states.
Five people died from the riot, including a Capitol Police office, Brian Sicknick.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of coordinating efforts to undermine the democratic electoral process and block legal votes on millions of ballots cast by black Americans.
“I joined this complaint as a complainant because the threat to the security of our democracy and to me individually has been blatantly and violently ignored. There must be responsibility for the violent disruption of our affairs and the personal fear that arose, “Watson Coleman said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Trump and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The costume indicates that Cohen, during the invasion of the Capitol complex by hundreds of rioters, began to think about where he would want to be buried if he was killed and had been left sitting in the dark. in his office for hours as he held a baseball bat. during the disturbance.
He notes that Jayapal tested positive for Covid-19 days after she and other House members took refuge during the riot in a small room where some officials refused to wear masks.
And the lawsuit says Lee, after realizing she escaped injury or death in the riot, began finalizing her estate plans after Jan.6.
Thompson, in a statement, said: “I am encouraged to be joined by ten of my colleagues in this critical effort to call former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys to account for their efforts. respective roles January 6. attack on the Capitol. “
“We owe it to our families, the American public and history to uncover the truth about the plot that fueled a violent mob to sack the Capitol in an effort to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power,” said Thompson.