Politics Ten Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump
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Ten Democratic members of Congress have joined the NAACP's lawsuit against former President Trump, alleging he incited a mob to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The group of lawmakers joining the case includes House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), a House prosecutor in Trump's first impeachment trial, as well as progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and three former chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus, California Reps. Barbara Lee, Karen Bass and Maxine Waters.
Trump on Jan. 6 "trampled our democracy, inciting a violent mob of white supremacists to overturn a free and fair election," Lee said in a statement.
Ten more members of Congress join NAACP lawsuit against Trump and Giuliani for conspiring to incite US Capitol riot
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. © Getty Images From left: Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Maxine Waters, Former U.S. President Donald Trump 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.
Nadler added: "This violence was anything but spontaneous; it was the direct result of a conspiracy to incite a riot, instigated by President Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers."
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and Trump's close ally, and both far-right groups are also listed in the complaint as being culpable for the Capitol violence. Both the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys face accusations of white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
The House Democrats joined their colleague Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who was part of the lawsuit when it was first filed.
The revised complaint was filed in the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., by the NAACP and law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
January 6 "was the climax of a meticulously organized coup incited by Donald Trump that placed members of congress and the integrity of our democracy in peril," NAACP president Derrick Johnson said in a statement.
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In an interview with The Hill when the suit was first announced, Johnson described Trump's actions as "treasonous."
"For African Americans, we see a long history of people not being held accountable ... and if we don't hold people accountable, there becomes this entitlement that it's OK to cause harm and violate the law," Johnson said at the time.
The lawsuit states that Trump violated federal statutes tied to what is commonly referred to as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
Passed in 1871 during Reconstruction, the bill was the third law in a series of measures created by Congress to slow the violence against and intimidation of Black Americans at the hands of the white hate group following the Civil War.
While much of the law has since become obsolete, several parts have become codified as a statute, including 42 U.S.C. 1985(1) - the provision listed in the lawsuit.
The provision specifically safeguards against conspiracies meant "to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office."
White extremist and hate group activity spiked during the Trump presidency, a concerning trend that the NAACP and other civil rights organizations have consistently warned against.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which does extensive research and tracking of extremist hate groups, saw "historically high hate group numbers" in the first three years of Trump's presidency.
"Trump, of course, acts as a partial explanation," the civil rights group recently noted in its annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report.
"He undoubtedly emboldened the far right and, importantly, created heightened expectations."
Now a private citizen, Trump faces numerous legal challenges in addition to the newly filed suit.
MAGA Riot Lawsuit Against Trump Keeps Getting Bigger .
A federal lawsuit alleging Donald Trump, his lawyer, and far-right extremists at the U.S. Capitol conspired to deprive Americans of their civil rights by disrupting the count of Joe Biden’s electoral college victory with the Jan. 6 riot is expanding this week. Lawyers for the NAACP, which brought the suit early this year on behalf of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), are set to file an amended complaint on Wednesday adding ten new plaintiffs, two people familiar with the matter say. The new plaintiffs will include other members of Congress, and the amended complaint is said to include additional information regarding the deadly Jan.