A Democratic Congressman has sued former United States President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani under the 19th century “Ku Klux Klan Act” for allegedly conspiring to incite the violence at the Capitol last month, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The post-Civil War law was framed to combat the violent acts of the supremacist hate group that targeted African-Americans.
Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson’s lawsuit also named two right-wing groups – Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
“The insurrection was the result of a carefully orchestrated plan by Trump, Giuliani and extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, all of whom shared a common goal of employing intimidation, harassment and threats to stop the certification of the Electoral College,” Thompson said in a statement, according to the news agency.
The lawsuit filed in the federal court in Washington stated that Proud Boys and Oath Keepers “acted in concert” to spearhead the assault on the US Capitol, CNN reported. “The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence,” the lawsuit added. “It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College.”
The lawsuit directly linked the Capitol violence on January 6 to Trump’s rally earlier in the day, according to CNN. He had told his supporters “...if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The lawsuit also accused Trump of delaying his speech to give the Proud Boys time to reach the Capitol.
Trump’s lawyer, on the other hand, was accused of instigating Trump’s supporters by talking of unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. “Let’s have trial by combat,” he had told them before the violence.
The lawsuit came two days after Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial. He was accused of inciting the insurrection at the US Capitol.
US Capitol violence
On January 6, hundreds of supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol complex in Washington DC, and clashed with the police as members of the Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential elections, which Democrat Joe Biden won. Five people died in the violence. At least 68 were arrested.
The incident triggered shock across the world. Several White House officials tendered resignations following the incident, while the demands for Trump’s removal from the top office grew.
After the violence, however, Trump conceded defeat to Biden. For months, he had peddled election conspiracy theories and claimed that the presidential poll was rigged.