Let us pray that this is the first of hundreds of similar suits!
Excerpts from the Article:
The House Homeland Security chairman accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.
The lawsuit from Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is part of an expected wave of litigation over the Jan. 6 riot and is believed to be the first filed by a member of Congress. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. It also names as defendants Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, and the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, extremist organizations that have had members charged by the Justice Department with taking part in the siege.
“All I wanted to do was do my job, and the insurrection that occurred prevented me from doing that,” Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters Tuesday as he recounted his harrowing experiences as Trump loyalists broke into the Capitol and disrupted the constitutionally mandated process of certifying the election.
The suit, filed in federal court in Washington under a Reconstruction-era law called the Ku Klux Klan Act, comes three days after Trump was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial that centered on allegations that he incited the riot, in which five people died. That acquittal is likely to open the door to fresh legal scrutiny over Trump’s actions before and during the siege. Additional suits could be brought by other members of Congress or by law enforcement officers injured while responding to the riot.
Even some Republicans who voted to acquit Trump on Saturday acknowledged that the more proper venue to deal with Trump was in the courts, especially now that he has left the White House and lost certain legal protections that shielded him as president.
“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 suit says. “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.”
Presidents are historically afforded broad immunity from lawsuits for actions they take in their role as commander in chief. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday was brought against Trump in his personal, not official, capacity and alleges that none of the behavior at issue had to do with his responsibilities as president.
Sellers, a lawyer with the law firm of Cohen Milstein, filed the case along with the NAACP. Several other members of Congress are expected to join.
The case against Trump was brought under a provision of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was passed in response to KKK violence and prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties. “Fortunately, this hasn’t been used very much,” Sellers said. “But what we see here is so unprecedented that it’s really reminiscent of what gave rise to the enactment of this legislation right after the Civil War.”