Posts tagged with "Raw Story"

Lawsuit: Trump and Giuliani conspired to violate KKK Act by inciting insurrection

February 17, 2021

On Tuesday, Febraury 16, ABC News reported that Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Missouri), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, is suing former President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani for conspiring to incite the Capitol riots in January.

According to Raw Story, the complaint reads as follows: “The Defendants each intended to prevent, and ultimately delayed, members of Congress from discharging their duty commanded by the United States Constitution to approve the results of the Electoral College in order to elect the next President and Vice President of the United States,” said the complaint. “Pursuing a purpose shared by Defendants Trump and Giuliani as well as Defendant Proud Boys, Defendant Oath Keepers played a leadership role of the riotous crowd and provided military-style assistance sufficient to overcome any Capitol Police resistance.”

The unusual lawsuit relies on novel legal reasoning under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits efforts to “prevent any person from discharging their duties by force, intimidation, or threat.” It would be the first time this law is used as a penalty against a former president, if the suit is successful—although he is being sued as a private citizen rather than in his official capacity.

“With the benefit of not having to prove criminal allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Thompson in his personal capacity by the NAACP and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages,” said the report. “The lawsuit is suing Trump in his personal capacity, alleging that he acted outside the scope of his office when inciting the rioters.”

Trump appeared at a rally immediately before the rioters stormed the Capitol, telling the demonstrators to “fight like hell.” Giuliani further said that America should have “trial by combat” over the election results, Raw Story reports.

The former president’s role in inciting the riot, and his refusal to call off his supporters once the violence began, was the core issue in his second impeachment trial—which ended in acquittal but saw a record number of senators cross over to vote against a president of their own party.

Research contact: @RawStory

The purge: Team Trump’s destruction of evidence appears to be breaking presidential records laws

December 14, 2020

Now you see it; now you don’t: A recent revelation that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield had ordered staffers to delete incriminating emails has raised questions about what’s going on in other agencies —and in the Oval Office, itself—in the final weeks of the Trump Administration, Raw Story reports.

Redfield directed a staffer, who went public last week, to delete an email from one of President Donald Trump’s political appointees, who had advised the agency to change its coronavirus report to downplay the virus’s effect on children—and government watchdogs told Salon’s Dan Froomkin that the incident may just be the tip of the iceberg.

“Donald Trump has absolutely no credibility when it comes to preserving documents,” said Lisa Rosenberg, executive director of the pro-transparency group Open the Government. “He’s been doing this all along: He deletes tweets, even though they’re public policy, he rips up notes, when they’re even taken—he rips up notes and some of his folks have to go and literally tape them back together again.”

Rosenberg urged reporters to start digging into those efforts to destroy evidence instead of waiting for that misconduct to be revealed.

“Journalists can hold folks’ feet to the fire,” she said. “They can question people and they can remind people of what their duties are to preserve these records.”

Those official documents belong to the public and government officials are legally bound to preserve them.

“Destroying or stealing documents belonging to the United States government is a crime,” said Richard Painter, former ethics counsel to President George W. Bush. “Destroying or stealing documents to cover up another crime, or activity that may be under investigation, is also a crime. Lying about what happened to missing documents is yet another crime.”

Painter added, “A departing federal official may take personal property from the office but no more. That includes perhaps some family photos — and of course that red [MAGA] cap—but everything else stays where it is. Anyone who doesn’t understand that could end up staying with the government a lot longer than anticipated or desired.”

Research contact: @RawStory