Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a former impeachment manager, has sued former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., attorney Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) over their involvement in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, CNN reports.
The news outlet noted that this is the second major lawsuit seeking to hold Trump and his allies accountable for their actions leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
The new lawsuit filed on Friday by Swalwell, a California Democrat who helped to lead impeachment arguments against Trump for inciting insurrection, follows a similar suit filed last month by Rep. Bennie Thompson against Trump, Giuliani and the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Swalwell’s case makes some of the same claims as Thompson’s — citing a civil rights law meant to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of elected officials.
But it also alleges Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks broke Washington, DC, laws, including an anti-terrorism act, by inciting the riot, and that they aided and abetted violent rioters and inflicted emotional distress on the members of Congress.
“The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that — if actually true — might indeed justify violence, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action,” the lawsuit, in Washington, DC’s federal District Court, alleges.
CNN noted that the lawsuit “could bump up against free speech protections for speakers at the rally, as well as immunity Trump could try to claim he had while serving as president.”
Swalwell, who was locked down in the House chamber during the siege, claims Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks prompted the attack on Congress with their repeated public assertions of voter fraud, their encouragement that supporters come to DC on January 6, and in their speeches that day. Each man had told the crowd that Joe Biden’s electoral certification in Congress could be blocked, and that Trump’s supporters should fight, the lawsuit alleges.