April 7, 2021
Ten members of Congress who were in the House gallery as rioters breached the Capitol on January 6 are adding their names to the lawsuit first filed in February against former President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The lawsuit, first brought by House Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and the NAACP, accuses Trump and Giuliani of conspiring with extremist groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite the riot at the Capitol.
The amended lawsuit now details the personal stories of each member, describing how they narrowly escaped the mob, and how some still have nightmares and anxiety months later.
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The members joining the lawsuit are Cohen, Reps. Karen Bass of California, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Barbara Lee of California, Jerry Nadler of New York, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Maxine Waters of California.
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The lawsuit was the first civil action filed against the former President related to the attack at the US Capitol, and it cited a scarcely used federal statute passed after the Civil War to combat violence from the Ku Klux Klan. The law allows civil actions to be brought against people who use “force, intimidation, or threat” to prevent anyone from upholding the duties of their office.
The lawsuit is backed by the NAACP, and its president, Derrick Johnson, accused the former President of inciting “a meticulously organized coup … that placed members of Congress and the integrity of our democracy in peril.”
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the far-right extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are also named as defendants. This newly filed amended complaint additionally names as defendants the Warboys LLC, which operated in conjunction with the Proud Boys, and Enrique Tarrio, the alleged leader of the Proud Boys and Warboys.
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