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 TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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 NadlerBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator MORE (N.Y.), a House prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, as well as progressive Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalAngst grips America's most liberal city Congress must lower the Medicare Age to save the lives of older Americans House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate MORE (Wash.) and three former chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus, California Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHouse passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight House passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Democrats repeal prohibition on funding abortions abroad MORE, Karen BassKaren Ruth BassScott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia MORE and Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Pelosi calls on CDC to extend eviction moratorium unilaterally 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ThompsonHouse members will huddle Friday to plot next steps on Jan. 6 probe Budowsky: Liz Cheney, a Reagan Republican, and Pelosi, Ms. Democrat, seek Jan. 6 truth The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.