Washington – The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against the former president Tuesday morning Donald J Trump And his personal attorney, Rudolf Giuliani, claiming they violated nineteenth-century law when they tried To prevent certification From The election In January. 6.
The civil rights organization filed the lawsuit on behalf of Representative Benny Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat. Other Democrats in Congress – including Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey – are expected to join as prosecutors in the coming weeks, according to the NAACP.
The lawsuit asserts that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan, a law from 1871 that includes protection from violent intrigue that conflicts with the constitutional duties of Congress; The lawsuit also mentions the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group, and the Oath Keepers militia. The legal case accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiracy to incite Violent riots At the Capitol, with The goal of preventing Congress From the ratification of the elections.
The lawsuit is Mr. Trump’s latest legal problem: New York prosecutors Investigation His financial transactions; The New York attorney general is following up Civil investigation Whether Mr. Trump’s company misrepresented its assets to obtain bank loans and tax benefits; And Georgia County Attorney is Examine election interference efforts over there.
Responding to the lawsuit, Mr Trump’s advisor Jason Miller indicated that the Senate had acquitted the former president of an impeachment article on incitement to revolt. The Senate voted 57 to 43, short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.
President Trump did not plan, produce, or organize the January 6 rally on Ellipse. In a statement on Tuesday, Miller said that President Trump had not instigated or conspired to incite any violence at the Capitol Building on January 6.
In the lawsuit, Mr. Thompson said he was forced to wear a gas mask and hide on the floor of the House hallway for three hours while he heard “threats of physical violence against any member who tried to proceed with approval of the Electoral College vote count.” Mr. Thompson also heard a gunshot, According to the suit, which he did not even know and was later killed Ashley BabbittOne of the rioters in the Capitol lobby.
Mr. Thompson is seeking damages and disciplinary damages in the lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court in Washington. The lawsuit does not include a specific amount of money.
Mr Thompson, 72, claims he was exposed to increased health risks after he was later asked to take shelter in a cramped area that did not allow for social distancing. The lawsuit states that Mr. Thompson shared a closed space with two members of Congress who tested positive for the Coronavirus shortly after the attack on the Capitol.
In an interview on Monday, Mr. Thompson said he would not have brought the case against Mr. Trump if the Senate had voted to convict him in The impeachment trial last week.
“I feared for my life,” said Mr. Thompson. “Not a day went by that I didn’t think about this incident. I was committed to getting justice in this situation.”
He added, “This is me, and I hope others, we have our day in court to address the atrocities of January 6. I trust the better verdict of the courts because it is clear that Republican senators cannot do what the evidence has overwhelmingly provided.”
Mr Thompson said he had already received a second dose of the Covid vaccine by January 6, and therefore he had not entered quarantine after his close contacts with colleagues who had tested positive. But he noted, “There were a number of members who were very concerned about staying in these numbers with people refusing to wear masks.”
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers recently raised the prospect of Mr Trump being held accountable in the courts for the riots. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, voted to acquit Mr Trump in the impeachment trial, but then appeared to encourage people to take their fight to the courts.
“He has not gone unpunished yet,” said Mr. McConnell at the conclusion of the trial, noting, “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have a civil case.”
Derek Johnson, President of the NAACP, said the decision to seek compensatory and punitive damages was due to a history of a tool that worked to fight white supremacy.
He said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan that led to the bankruptcy of the chapter.” Referring to a 2008 ruling against the Kentucky-based Klan that ordered the group to pay $ 2.5 million in damages. “This is very similar. If we do nothing, we can ensure that these groups will continue to spread and grow in boldness. We must limit the spread of white supremacy.”
While much of the focus in the impeachment trial was based on how a violent mob threatened former Vice President Mike Pence as well as congressional leaders such as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, NAACP officials said the attack is deeply rooted in racial injustice.
“Behind this rebellion was the actions of people who were challenging the voices of people of color. If you look at their voices being challenged, they came from largely urban areas. The voices of people of color were being challenged,” said Janet McCarthy Wallace, Interim General Counsel for the NAACP.
The suit, for example, accuses Mr. Giuliani of trying to reject “the votes cast by the voters in Detroit, which has a population of 78 percent of African Americans.” It also says that Mr. Giuliani inaccurately claimed that there was voting fraud in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, “both of which have large African American populations.”
Joseph M. Sellers, a partner in the civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Tolle, which jointly brought the case, said the lawsuit named Mr Trump in his personal capacity because his behavior challenging another branch of government to do his work is located overseas. The official duties of the president.
“He was engaging in behavior that is thus far outside any legitimate scope of his presidential duties,” said Mr. Sellers. He no longer enjoys the president’s immunity.