Trump hires lawyer to fight capitol police officer’s lawsuit accusing him of inciting insurrection

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Graig Graziosi
·2 min read
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The Lincoln Project mocks former president Donald Trump in a new attack ad (The Lincoln Project)
The Lincoln Project mocks former president Donald Trump in a new attack ad (The Lincoln Project)

Former President Donald Trump has hired lawyers to defend him after two Capitol police officers launched lawsuits blaming him for inciting the Capitol riot on 6 January.

Mr Trump has retained attorney Jesse Binnall, who will defend him against the legal action brought by officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, The Daily Beast reported.

The lawsuit claims that Mr Trump "had inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted" the "insurrectionist mob" to attack Capitol police officers on 6 January.

Both men claim they suffered injuries to their heads, necks and backs as a result of the insurrection, and said they continue to struggle with emotional trauma stemming from the events of that day.

The officers are seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages, with the filing seeking the "amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, not counting interest and costs."

Mr Blassingame was with a group of eight or nine officers attempting to defend the House Crypt, which was swarmed by Trump supporters. He eventually fled the area but ended up locked in the House Ways and Means Committee room with House members, some of whom were unmasked for hours.

Mr Hemby was sprayed with chemical irritants and was later "crushed against the doors on the east side trying to hold the insurrectionists back. Over and over, he tried to tell the insurrectionists that the doors opened outward and that pressing him into the door would do no good."

The lawsuit is the third Mr Trump is facing tied to the Capitol insurrection.

Mr Binnall is also representing Mr Trump in two other suits brought by Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson and Eric Swalwell, which accuse the former president of trying to disrupt the Congressional electoral vote count.

Mr Thompson's suit also accuses Mr Trump of colluding with far-right groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Mr Swalwell's suit also named the former president's son, Donald Trump Jr, and Republican US Rep. Mo Brooks as alleged co-conspirators.

Mr Trump is not the first member of the far-right that Mr Binnall has represented; he also defended former National Security Advisor and QAnon darling Mike Flynn.

In that case, Mr Flynn had been accused of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia's ambassador to the US.

He also represented Mr Trump's campaign to overturn the 2020 election in the state of Nevada, and represented a group called "Defending the Republic," which has ties to Mr Trump's former attorney, Sidney Powell, who was a leading booster of post-election conspiracy theories.

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