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10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump

10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump
© Bonnie Cash

Ten Democratic members of Congress have joined the NAACP’s lawsuit against former President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE, 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 NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis Nadler10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump On The Trail: How marijuana went mainstream House passes bills providing citizenship path for Dreamers, farmworkers MORE (N.Y.), a House prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, as well as progressive Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila Jayapal10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump The strategy Biden needs to pass his infrastructure plan Gosar's siblings ratchet up criticism over Capitol riot MORE (Wash.) and three former chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus, California Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBiden funding decision inflames debate over textbooks for Palestinian refugees 10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump White House delays release of budget plan MORE, Karen BassKaren Ruth Bass10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Lobbying world Six women who could be California's next senator MORE and Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBoehner finally calls it as he sees it 10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Congress must help find a faster solution to pay 10 Million past due rents MORE.

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.

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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 ThompsonBennie Gordon Thompson10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions Lawmakers roll out bill to protect critical infrastructure after Florida water hack MORE (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.

Jan. 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.

In an interview with The Hill when the suit was first announced, Johnson described Trump’s actions as “treasonous.”

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“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.