MAGA Riot Lawsuit Against Trump Keeps Getting Bigger

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Asawin Suebsaeng, Adam Rawnsley
·3 min read
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Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty
Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty

A federal lawsuit alleging that former President Donald Trump, his lawyer, and far-right extremists at the U.S. Capitol conspired to deprive Americans of their civil rights by disrupting the count of Joe Biden’s electoral college victory with the Jan. 6 riot is expanding this week.

Lawyers for the NAACP, which brought the suit early this year on behalf of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), are set to file an amended complaint on Wednesday adding 10 new plaintiffs, two people familiar with the matter saie. The new plaintiffs will include other members of Congress, and the amended complaint is said to include additional information about the deadly Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., which then-President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani are accused of inciting, the sources added.

The addition of new plaintiffs was first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday.

Thompson’s suit, originally filed in February, accuses Trump of violating the more than a century old Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which makes it a federal crime to “conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat” officials from holding office or carrying out their official duties.

Thompson named the far-right groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys as defendants alongside and alleged co-conspirators alongside Trump.

Trump named Jesse Binnall, a veteran of his campaign’s legal team and former National Security Adviser Gen. Mike Flynn’s defense team, to represent him in the suit.

The expansion of the Thompson suit comes as Trump’s post-presidency legal problems mount even as his party and the conservative movement have attempted to move on from the Jan. 6 riot and deaths caused by the insurrection as quickly as they can.

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Two Capitol Police officers, James Blassingame and James Hemby, filed a federal lawsuit against Trump in late March over injuries stemming from their service at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The two officers, both veterans of the Capitol Police for over a decade, claim Trump “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the “insurrectionist mob” that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 and caused both men’s injuries.

Blassingame says he has suffered head and back pain as well as bouts of depression as a result of his service during the attack, and Hemby says he is under the care of an orthopedist for injuries to his head and back by rioters.

Trump has yet to respond to the suit or identify an attorney who will represent him in that suit.

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The former president also faces a lawsuit from Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who has accused Trump, his son Don Jr., and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) of engaging in a conspiracy against civil rights by allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 riot.

All of the suits are part of a growing parade of criminal investigations and lawsuits filed on a variety of matters that have dogged Trump, his family, his business empire, and his close associates in the months following the conclusion of his presidency. In recent weeks, the ex-president has privately griped that his enemies are going to be probing and “suing me for the rest of my life.”

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