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Seven Capitol cops who battled rioters on January 6 filed suit against former President Donald Trump, his associates, and people connected to the clash – accusing them of inciting outrage that fueled it through their claims of election fraud.’
The seven officers ‘risked their lives to defend the Capitol from a violent, mass attack — an attack provoked, aided, and joined by Defendants in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election,’ according to the lawsuit, filed in the federal district court in the District of Columbia.
They say Trump and a skein of named defendants encouraged the mayhem through their efforts to overturn the election results, and leading up to the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that preceded the riot.
The suit also names a series of extremist groups including Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
Seven Capitol Police officers have filed suit against former President Donald Trump, his campaign, and some of his associates, as well as extremist groups, claiming they caused the Capitol riot that caused them to face beatings and injuries
‘Trump, in concert with other Defendants, deliberately and persistently made and encouraged false claims of election fraud to discredit the outcome of the election and disingenuously incite outrage among his supporters,’ according to the suit, which follows a House impeachment effort that resulted in Trump’s acquittal in the divided Senate before he left office.
It follows another suit by lawmakers including Rep. Eric Swallwell (D-Calif.) who were among those forced to hide in their offices as a mob ransacked the capitol.
The suit claims the defendants ”conspired to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from taking office, to prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes, and to prevent the Capitol Police from carrying out their lawful duties.’
Like Swallwell’s suit, it says they ‘violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was designed to prevent precisely the kinds of politically and racially motivated violence they caused and committed on January 6.’ The 1871 law targets efforts to interfere with Congress fulfilling its constitutional duties.
Jan. 6th is when lawmakers gathered to count the electoral votes that made Joe Biden president.
Seven Capitol Police officers have filed suit against former President Donald Trump and some of his associates, as well as extremist groups
The suit lists Trump, his campaign, Roger Stone, and Proud Boys as defendants
It also names Oath Keepers as among groups it says ’caused’ the riot
In this file photo from on January 6, 2021, supporters of US President Donald Trump, including member of the QAnon conspiracy group Jake Angeli, aka Yellowstone Wolf (C), enter the US Capitol, in Washington, DC.
The suit names Proud Boys leader Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio, who was convicted of burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was torn down from a historic Black church, but who was not at the Jan. 6 rally
WHAT DOES THE KU KLUX KLAN ACT SAY?
The suit says Trump and the other defendants ‘violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was designed to prevent precisely the kinds of politically and racially motivated violence they caused and committed on January 6.’
Two separate lawsuits by Democratic Members of Congress also invoke the 1871 law, which targets efforts to interfere with Congress fulfilling its constitutional duties.
According to the law: ‘If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof; or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave any State, district, or place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties.’
The Capitol riot took place as lawmakers gathered to count the electoral votes that made Biden president.
The suit also goes after Trump supporters including longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone.
The officers, five of whom with black, say they were beaten, assaulted, and hit with mace and bear spray, as well as other objects. The suite identifies all seven officers, represented by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
It also names as a deep pocket defendant Trump’s presidential campaign, which hauled in more than $200 million after he lost to Biden amid persistent fundraising appeals.
The suit says the Capitol attack was ’caused’ by defendants – a claim Trump and other defendants are certain to try to challenge on First Amendment grounds.
It says they ‘conspired with each other and others to prevent Congress from certifying the election results through the use of force, intimidation, and threats,’ and that they ‘propagated false claims of election fraud, encouraged the use of force, intimidation, and threats, and incited violence against members of Congress and the law enforcement officers whose job it was to protect them.’
Five of the plaintiffs are black, and the suit claims ‘racism and white supremacy pervaded Defendants’ efforts from the outset,’ with efforts targeting the vote in heavily black areas.
The officers have a combined 150 years on the force. It cites Trump’s numerous claims of a ‘rigged’ election, as well as his comments urging his backers to come to Washington on Jan. 6th.
The suit comes a day after a select committee probing the riot send out sweeping document requests to agencies and to the National Archives seeking internal Trump White House documents.
Trump blasted the move, claiming it was violating ‘long-standing legal principles of privilege.’
‘Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation,’ Trump said.