Washington Sues Far-Right Groups Over Capitol Assault
The attorney general of the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, announced on Tuesday a lawsuit against the far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for the assault, last January, on the US Capitol, in which 5 people died and close to 140 agents were attacked.
The action seeks to hold those responsible accountable for the “physical and financial” damage to the District of Columbia, where Washington is located, and that on January 6 was the scene of mobilization of supporters of then-President Donald Trump (2017-2021) that culminated with the violent assault on the Legislative building.
Racine described the attack as “brazen, violent and deadly” in a press conference in which he was accompanied, among others, by the only representative of the District of Columbia before the House of Representatives, the African American Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia.
In addition, he compared what happened that day with the attacks of September 11, 2001.
“But this time,” he lamented, “our own citizens were bent on destroying the freedoms and ideals on which our country was founded. “
Protesters stormed the Capitol as a session was underway to confirm the results of the November 2020 elections, in which incumbent Joe Biden prevailed.
The prosecutor pointed out that the lawsuit also seeks to hold more than 30 leaders of these ultra-rightist groups responsible “for conspiring to terrorize” the District of Columbia, interfering “illegally” with the peaceful transition of power in the country and attacking the officials who defended The capitol.
He indicated that the lawsuit is based on different local and federal laws, in particular the United States Civil Rights Act of 1871, known as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Act.
That law was passed 15 years after the end of America’s civil war (1861-1865) to protect both African-Americans freed from slavery and congressional lawmakers from violence by white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan ( KKK).
Specifically, Racine pointed out, the defendant’s far-right groups have been singled out for conspiring against the District of Columbia and its agents by planning, promoting, and participating in the “violent attack on the Capitol”, and for causing “substantial and demonstrable damage” to the city and officials who “risked their lives” and even died.
The lawsuit came a day after the committee of the United States House of Representatives investigating the assault on the Capitol accused Mark Meadows, who was chief of staff of the White House at the time of the attack, of contempt for not cooperating with the inquiry of the legislative body.