NAACP Sues Trump For Inciting Capitol Attack
The lawsuit accuses Trump and Giuliani of conspiring with extremist groups to incite the insurrection.
The NAACP and Missouri Rep. Bennie Thompson (D) filed a civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday, accusing the pair of conspiring with far-right extremist groups to incite the attack on the U.S. Capitol and block the certification of the election.
The lawsuit contends that Trump and Giuliani, along with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits any actions that interfere with Congress’ constitutional duties.
The suit comes just days after the Senate voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial and echoes many of the same claims made against Trump by the House impeachment managers.
The lawsuit accuses Trump and Giuliani of mobilizing armed protestors and extremists by falsely claiming that the election was stolen and failing to discourage threats of violence. It also alleges that the former president purposefully delayed his speech at the “Save America” rally on January 6 in order to give the Proud Boys more time to make their way over to the Capitol Building.
“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 states.
“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 also includes multiple quotes from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who made the case for holding Trump criminally or civilly liable shortly after voting to acquit him. “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation,” McConnell said after Trump’s impeachment trial on Saturday. “And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.”
According to the NAACP, the lawsuit is a direct response to Trump’s acquittal. Now that it is clear that the former president will not face any political consequences for deliberately inciting a violent insurrection against the government, it is up to the courts to prevent a similar attack from happening again.
“While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned,” Thompson said in a statement. “Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country.”