April 07, 2021

Ten more Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday joined a federal lawsuit accusing former President Donald Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and several right-wing extremist groups of conspiring to incite the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol complex riot.

The suit, first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the NAACP, accuses the defendants of violating a federal law by sparking the violence with the goal of preventing Congress from confirming the election of President Joe Biden. The cited law, the Ku Klux Klan Act, was first used in the late 1800s to target the racist KKK for its violence against Black Americans and its intimidation of members of Congress from the South.

In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the suit names extremist groups the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and Warboys as defendants.

The House members who joined the suit are: California representatives Karen Bass, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters; Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey; Veronica Escobar of Texas; Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia; Marcy Kaptur of Ohio; Jerry Nadler of New York; and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.

An amended version of the lawsuit adding the new House members as plaintiffs, and making additional allegations, was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. It seeks a declaratory judgment that the defendants violated the law through their conduct, an injunction against similar actions in the future and unspecified financial damages.

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