Leading House Democrat sues Donald Trump under a post-Civil War law for conspiracy to incite US Capitol riot
Posted February 16, 2021 10:01 a.m. EST
CNN — Former President Donald Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani are being accused of conspiring with the far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite the January 6 insurrection in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by the Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee that cites a post-Civil War law designed to combat violence and intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan.
The lawsuit, filed by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson in his personal capacity, is the first civil action filed against the former President related to the attack at the US Capitol and comes days after the Senate acquitted Trump in his impeachment trial.
If it proceeds, it would mean the former President and others would be subject to discovery and depositions, potentially exposing details and evidence that weren't released during the Senate impeachment trial.
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Thompson points to Trump's words and tweets in the months leading up to the insurrection to accuse Trump and Giuliani of mobilizing and preparing their supporters for an attack to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results on January 6.
The lawsuit cites a scarcely used federal statute passed after the Civil War that was intended to combat violence from the Ku Klux Klan; it allows civil actions to be brought against people who use "force, intimidation, or threat" to prevent anyone from upholding the duties of their office.
READ: Former President Donald Trump's January 6 speech
This story is breaking and will be updated.