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Selasa, 16 Februari 2021

Donald Trump sued by senior Democrat congressman Bennie Thompson over Capitol riot - ABC News

A Democratic congressman has filed a lawsuit accusing former president Donald Trump and lawyer Rudy Giuliani of conspiring to incite the violent riot that shook the US Capitol on January 6.

The US District Court lawsuit was filed by Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who chairs the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, and seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

"The insurrection was the result of a carefully orchestrated plan by Trump, Giuliani and extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, all of whom shared a common goal of employing intimidation, harassment and threats to stop the certification of the electoral college," a press release announcing the lawsuit stated.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and lawyers from the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll are handling the litigation.

The case against Mr Trump was brought under a provision of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was passed in response to KKK violence and prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties.

"Fortunately, this hasn't been used very much," lawyer Joseph Sellers, acting on behalf of Mr Thompson, said.

The suit cites incendiary comments that were made in the lead-up to the Capitol riots by both Mr Trump and Mr Giuliani.

Lawyers say the comments were designed to mobilise supporters to work to overturn the election results and to prevent the Senate's certification process.

That process was temporarily interrupted when Trump loyalists broke into the Capitol.

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Play Video. Duration: 13 minutes 25 seconds
Full video of Capitol riot played by prosecutors at Trump's impeachment trial

Trump 'endorsed rather than discouraged' threats of violence

The suit traces the drawn-out effort by Mr Trump and Mr Giuliani to cast doubt on the election results even though courts across the country, and state election officials, repeatedly rejected their baseless allegations of election fraud.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the suit says, the men portrayed the election as stolen while Mr Trump "endorsed rather than discouraged" threats of violence from his angry supporters in the weeks leading up to the assault on the Capitol.

"It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College."

Presidents are historically afforded broad immunity from lawsuits for actions they take in their role as commander-in-chief but this lawsuit was brought against Mr Trump in his personal, not official, capacity and alleges that none of the behaviour at issue had to do with his responsibilities as president.

"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," Mr Sellers said.

"In this respect, because of his conduct, he is just like any other private citizen."

People climbing up a wall leading to the US Capitol building
Hundreds of rioters marched to the Capitol building and forced their way inside, briefly delaying the vote to affirm President Joe Biden's win.(AP: Jose Luis Magana)

Jason Miller, an adviser for Mr Trump, said in a statement on Tuesday (local time) that Mr Trump did not organise the rally that preceded the riot and "did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on January 6th".

A lawyer for Mr Giuliani did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The suit comes three days after Mr Trump was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial that centred on allegations that he incited the riot, in which five people died.

The Senate vote of 57-43 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after a five-day impeachment trial but he can still be sued.

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiYGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTAyLTE3L3RydW1wLXN1ZWQtYnktc2VuaW9yLWRlbW9jcmF0LW92ZXItY2FwaXRvbC1yaW90cy8xMzE2MjA1NtIBJ2h0dHBzOi8vYW1wLmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvYXJ0aWNsZS8xMzE2MjA1Ng?oc=5

2021-02-16 17:44:00Z
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