Seven Capitol Police officers filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing former President Donald Trump and supporters of planning what led to the Jan. 6 attack in Washington D.C.
The suit ranks as the most expansive civil effort to date seeking to hold Trump and his allies legally accountable for the Capitol assault, The New York Times reported.
Although three similar lawsuits were filed in recent months, Thursday's filing is the first to allege that Trump worked in concert with political organizers to promote claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
"This is probably the most comprehensive account of Jan. 6 in terms of civil cases," Edward Caspar, a lawyer who is leading the suit for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told the Times.
"It spans from the former president to militants around him to his campaign supporters."
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, marked the first time that the seven plaintiffs, five of whom are Black, offered details of their Jan. 6 ordeals.
Previously, several police officers spoke of their Jan. 6 experiences at a July hearing before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democrat-controlled select committee.
Trump on Wednesday slammed the committee for seeking records from him and his family relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack as being a partisan distraction from the failures of President Joe Biden around the world and at home.
On Friday, it was reported that the FBI had found scant evidence the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.
The latest lawsuit accuses Trump and his co-defendants — members of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers militia, and Trump associates such as Roger Stone — of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfere with Congress’s constitutional duties.
The suit also accuses the defendants of committing "bias-motivated acts of terrorism" in violation of District of Columbia law, the Times reported.
Previous lawsuits surrounding the Jan. 6 events were filed:
- In February, by the N.A.A.C.P. on behalf of Democrat lawmakers who accused Trump, his former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers of conspiring to prevent certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6.
- In March, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., filed a similar complaint against Trump, Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
- Also in March, two Capitol Police officers filed a suit against Trump.
The Justice Department also is investigating the events on Jan. 6.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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