March 8, 2021
On Friday, March5, former President Donald Trump, as well as his eldest son and a couple of his allies were hit with a suit brought by Representative Eric Swalwell (D-California) over their roles in the run-up to the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, The Hill reports.
The 65-page complaint—filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.—accuses Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Representative Mo Brooks (R-Alabama),and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of inciting the riot and violating a number of federal and D.C. laws.
According to The Hill, each defendant was among the speakers at a pro-Trump rally that immediately preceded the deadly Capitol breach. The lawsuit depicts the incendiary rally speeches as a tipping point that culminated a months-long disinformation campaign to push the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump.
“The horrific events of January 6 were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ unlawful actions,” the complaint states. “As such, the Defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages and asks for a court order requiring Trump and his allies to provide at least a week’s notice before holding any future rally in D.C. related to an election.
Among the allegations contained in the nine-count complaint is that defendants conspired to prevent lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence from certifying President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s election win, in violation of a federal civil rights law.
Attempts by the Hill to reach Trump, Brooks and Giuliani for comment were not successful.
The lawsuit is the latest instance of potential legal exposure for the former president. Trump also faces a criminal probe in Georgia for pressuring officials to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral win; and is under investigation in New York for possible financial crimes and civil violations related to his businesses.
The Biden Administration’s Justice Department also faces pressure from progressives and Trump critics to pursue criminal charges against the former president.
Swalwell’s lawsuit comes less than a month after Trump was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial over his role in the Jan. 6 attack. Swalwell, a former county prosecutor in California, served as one of the House impeachment managers in the Senate trial.
Research contact: @thehill