MP Bernie Thompson (D-MS) claims the President and his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani deliberately encouraged protesters to storm the US Capitol.
The NAACP and a Democratic legislature filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, accusing the Commander-in-Chief of conspiring with extremist groups to block election certificates in January.
The lawsuit was brought by Rep. Bernie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, according to NBC News.
Thompson’s lawsuit is the first to accuse President Trump of having played a direct role in the January 6 riot in Washington, DC
Trump supporters – allegedly under the leadership of the ex-president – stormed the national capitol and destroyed and looted convention offices. Thompson and the NAACP say the attack “was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to disrupt the legal process required to confirm the vote on the electoral college.”
In the lawsuit, Trump is named as a defendant alongside his former attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Jason Miller, a Trump adviser, steadfastly claimed that the year-old president had neither intended nor wanted his supporters to attack the Capitol.
“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 Jan. 6, “Miller said in a statement.
“Mayor Giuliani,” he added, “does not currently represent President Trump on any legal matter.”
NBC notes that the lawsuit effectively accuses Trump and Giuliani of coordinating with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, far-right militant groups that backed Trump’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
In their complaint, Thompson and the NAACP said President Trump, Giuliani and various militias shared a common goal of “using intimidation, harassment and threats” to keep the vote from going through. The uprising is a “direct, intended and foreseeable result”.
The lawsuit specifically relates to the Civil Rights Act of 1871 – better known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
The law allows plaintiffs to file legal complaints against government officials who conspired, or suspected of conspiring, to spread civil rights violations.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump and Giuliani – by repeatedly insisting without evidence that the election had been stolen – led right-wing militias to crack down on the Capitol. When Trump supporters gathered in Washington DC on January 6, the commander in chief made a series of inflammatory statements. Along with Giuliani, he began “to stir up the anger of the crowd and urge them to take action to enforce control over the electoral college’s process of counting and approving ballots.”
In an interview, Thompson said he filed his lawsuit to prevent future presidents or officials from attempting to repeat Trump’s interference.
“If the Trump administration’s philosophy of engaging as it did on Jan. 6 becomes the standard, then for any election you disagree with, just go to the Capitol and tear it up,” he said.
“In America we settle our differences at the ballot box,” added Thompson. “We don’t have coups. We don’t have any riots. We have nothing like January 6th. We have to have a semblance of order if our government is to stay strong. “
Thompson’s lawsuit also cites Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). While McConnell did not vote to indict the former president, McConnell said, “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of this day.”
Thompson implied that Trump’s actions and words were inherently un-American and that his wrongdoing has no place in democracy.
“This is not America, this is not our democracy,” Thompson said. “We cannot allow this kind of riot in any form.”
Congressman NAACP is suing Trump and Giuliani for rioting in the Capitol
Explainer: What is the Ku Klux Klan Act cited in a lawsuit against Trump?
The riot lawsuit is only part of Trump’s post-impeachment problems