Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and of conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent the Senate from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. “Pursuing a purpose shared by Defendants Trump and Giuliani as well as Defendant Proud Boys, Defendant Oath Keepers played a leadership role of the riotous crowd and provided military-style assistance sufficient to overcome any Capitol Police resistance.”
The suit traces the drawn-out effort by Trump and Giuliani to cast doubt on the election results even though courts across the country. The lawsuit filed Tuesday was brought against Trump in his personal, not official capacity. “Inciting a riot, or attempting to interfere with the congressional efforts to ratify the results of the election that are commended by the Constitution, could not conceivably be within the scope of ordinary responsibilities of the president,” said Joseph Sellers, a Washington lawyer. The lawsuit accuses Trump of conspiring to disrupt the constitutional activities of Congress.