Democrat Bennie Thompson Files Civil lawsuit Against Trump for Capitol Riot
'We must hold him accountable'
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson has filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump just days after he was acquitted, accusing him of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Thompson also accuses Trump of conspiring with attorney Rudy Giuliani and extremist groups to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's Electoral College win.
Thompson joined the NAACP in filing the lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleging that Trump violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act passed to prevent violence or intimidation against members of Congress.
The lawsuit is said to be the first filed by a member of Congress for the Jan. 6 riot.
The lawsuit also seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages.
The 32-page lawsuit also names the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, far-right extremist groups, as defendants.
Thompson said in a statement:
"January 6th was one of the most shameful days in our country’s history, and it was instigated by the president himself."
"His gleeful support of violent white supremacists led to a breach of the Capitol that put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger."
"It is by the slimmest of luck that the outcome was not deadlier."
"While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned."
"Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country."
Senior adviser to Trump, Jason Miller, said in a statement Trump did not incite the violence.
"President Trump has been acquitted in the Democrats’ latest impeachment witch hunt, and the facts are irrefutable."
"President Trump did not plan, produce or organize the Jan. 6th rally on the Ellipse. President Trump did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th."
Miller blamed Democrats.
"Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser must answer questions as to why they rejected additional security and National Guard assistance in the run-up to Jan. 6th," Miller said.
Last week, Rep. Jim Jordan noted that Trump urged his supporters to "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," a remark ignored by the Democrats as it does not fit their narrative.
"The one line from the president’s speech that wasn’t in the Democrats’ video is the line that’s most important, and that’s where the president said, ‘Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,’" Jordan said.