It’s been one week since Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accusing them of violating a 19th-century statute by conspiring to incite the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Washington D.C.’s Federal District Court by the NAACP and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. Other members of Congress, including Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), intend to join the litigation as plaintiffs in the coming days and weeks.
This lawsuit has caught the eyes of some because the civil rights organization is usually separate from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund “LDF”, which has historically served as the legal vanguard for African Americans. In this case, the lawsuit was initiated by the NAACP, and not the LDF. It remains to be seen how future cases like these will be advocated in the future. Either way, the African American community needs all the legal advocacy possible locally and nationally.
In an announcement of the lawsuit on the civil rights organizations website, leaders said the NAACP believes the coup attempt was a coordinated, months-long attempt to destroy democracy, to block the results of a fair and democratic election, and to disenfranchise millions of ballots that were legally cast by African-American voters.
“Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for deliberately inciting and colluding with white supremacists to stage a coup, in his continuing efforts to disenfranchise African-American voters. The insurrection was the culmination of a carefully orchestrated, months-long plan to destroy democracy, to block the results of a fair and democratic election, and to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of African-American voters who cast valid ballots. Since our founding, the NAACP has gone to the courthouse to put an end to actions that discriminate against African- American voters. We are now bringing this case to continue our work to protect our democracy and make sure nothing like what happened on January 6th ever happens again,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP.
The lawsuit argues that Trump, Giuliani, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers conspired to incite a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuit also alleges that, by preventing Congress from carrying out its official duties, Trump, Giuliani and the hate groups directly violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with Congress’s constitutional duties.
The Source will be following this case and keeping our readers fully informed.