Ten more members of Congress join lawsuit using anti-KKK legislation to sue Trump and Rudy Giuliani for ‘inciting’ the Capitol riot
- The lawmakers joined suit filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson that is joined by the NAACP
- They shared their personal stories while rioters ran wild inside the building
- Rep. Steve Cohen ‘began to contemplate whether he would want to be buried with his family in Memphis or at the Congressional Cemetery’
- Rep. Pramila Jaypal was ‘exhausted and drained by the throbbing pain in her greatly swollen knee’
- Rep. Veronica Escobar’s ‘heart began racing as she realized she might be trapped in the House Gallery’
Ten House Democrats have now joined a lawsuit first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi accusing former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani of stoking the MAGA riot that had many of them cowering in their offices while a mob ransacked the Capitol.
Joining the suit which relies on the Ku Klux Klan act and is joined by the NAAP, are prominent lawmakers including Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler of New York and Financial Services Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters of California.
Also joining are Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Karen Bass of California, Barbara Lee of California, Pramilia Jaypal of Washington, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia, Veronica Escobar of Texas and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.
Each signed onto the suit in their ‘personal capacity.’
House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler has joined a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani over the Jan. 6th riot. The lawmakers were in the House House or its galleries when it happened
The lawsuit, one of a number of suits targeting Trump before and after he left the White House, includes personal testimonials from lawmakers who were stuck in congressional galleries.
It also names Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, whose members are accused of participating in the riot and were photographed there Jan. 6th.
Cohen, an outspoken critic of Trump’s, contemplated his own mortality during the siege, according to the suit.
‘Her heart began racing as she realized she might be trapped in the House Gallery,’ the filing says of Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).
HURT KNEE: Rep. Pramila Jaypal describes having trouble getting down on the floor when ordered to because of her recent surgery
MORTALITY: Rep. Steve Cohen contemplated where he would be buried as the riot raged
WHAT DOES THE KU KLUX KLAN ACT SAY?
‘If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof; or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave any State, district, or place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties.’
‘Anticipating that he might not emerge from the House Gallery alive, he began to contemplate whether he would want to be buried with his family in Memphis or at the Congressional Cemetery,’ it says.
Cohen states: ‘As I sat in my office on January 6th with rioters roaming the hallways, I feared for my life and thought I was going to die.
‘This invasion was a direct result of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and words. His calls to gather in Washington on January 6th and his message to ‘be strong’ thwarted the functioning of our Constitution.’
Afterward, he developed difficulties falling and staying asleep, according to the filing.
Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas was filled with fear during the riot. ‘Her heart began racing as she realized she might be trapped in the House Gallery,’ it says.
Jaypal describes having trouble getting down on the floor when ordered to because of her recent surgery.
Thompson filed suit on February 16, following Trump’s acquittal in the Senate during his second impeachment trial.
When she left the House chamber and finally arrived at a safe room, she was ‘exhausted and drained by the throbbing pain in her greatly swollen knee.’
Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia says he was forced to stand with other lawmakers who ‘could not socially distance’ because of their number. Johnson, 66 at the time, feared that he would contract the coronavirus, at a time when the outbreak was raging.
The catalogue of injuries and distress include language common among personal injury claims against individuals or corporations. The suit seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
The suit was filed under the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan Act., which prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties.