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Previous story Trump Faces New Lawsuit Over Capitol Insurrection Next story

STORY BY CLAIRE HANSEN

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Published on March 6, 2021 11:02 PM

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Trump faces new lawsuit over Capitol riot filed by Rep. Swalwell
The lawsuit, which claims that former President Donald Trump and his allies incited the mob that attacked the Capitol, is the second major legal action against Trump in connection to the riot.

HOUSE IMPEACHMENT manager and Intelligence Committee Chairman Eric Swalwell is suing former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Republican Rep. Mo Brooks for inciting the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, aiming to hold them liable for injuries and destruction that occurred.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, also alleges that Trump "poses a risk of inciting future political violence."

It's the second major lawsuit filed against Trump in connection to the riot. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and the NAACP sued Trump, Giuliani and two far-right groups last month, alleging that they violated a 150-year-old law by conspiring to incite the riot.

Swalwell's lawsuit makes the same claim, accusing Trump and his allies of violating the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction-era law that protects against violent conspiracies meant to stop Congress from carrying out its constitutional duties. But the lawsuit also makes broader claims, suing under a claim of negligence and alleging that the defendants broke Washington, D.C., laws, including the District's Anti-Terrorism Act.

The lawsuit also alleges that Trump and his allies aided and abetted the mob and inflicted emotional distress on Swalwell, who was inside the House chamber as rioters attempted to breach the doors.

The lawsuit resembles the House impeachment managers' case against Trump and focuses on Trump and his allies' role in inciting the political rally attendants who were not part of extremist groups already bent on acting violently.

It cites the defendants' actions leading up to and at the rally on Jan. 6, as well as during and after the riot. Trump and his allies repeatedly promoted the claim that the election was rigged and that Trump was denied a legitimate victory.

"The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that – if actually true – might indeed justify violence to some, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action," the lawsuit says.

Trump was acquitted by the Senate last month of "incitement of insurrection" in a 57-43 vote that fell largely along party lines. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict the former president.

Friday's lawsuit notably cites a speech given by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the impeachment vote, in which McConnell – who voted to acquit Trump – condemned the former president's actions and noted that Trump could still be held civilly liable.

Swalwell's lawsuit seeks monetary and punitive damages, and a requirement that the defendants give a week of notice before future rallies and demonstrations.

Trump is currently the subject of a number of investigations and criminal probes. The Supreme Court last week cleared the way for prosecutors in New York to obtain Trump's tax records, dealing a huge blow to the former president who fought a lengthy legal battle in a bid to keep his finances hidden.