Above: An estimated 60,000 Ku Klux Klan members marched along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in 1925.
The Associated Press reports, Impeachment isn’t the final word on Capitol riot for Trump, “The next step for the former president could be the courts.”
The insurrection at the Capitol, in which five people died, is just one of the legal cases shadowing Trump in the months after he was voted out of office. He also faces legal exposure in Georgia over an alleged pressure campaign on state election officials, and in Manhattan over hush-money payments and business deals.
But Trump’s culpability under the law for inciting the riot is by no means clear-cut. The standard is high under court decisions reaching back 50 years. Trump could also be sued by victims, though he has some constitutional protections, including if he acted while carrying out the duties of president. Those cases would come down to his intent.
Legal scholars say a proper criminal investigation takes time, and there are at least five years on the statute of limitations to bring a federal case. New evidence is emerging every day.
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Federal prosecutors have said they are looking at all angles of the assault on the Capitol and whether the violence had been incited. The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, has said that district prosecutors are considering whether to charge Trump under local law that criminalizes statements that motivate people to violence.
“Let it be known that the office of attorney general has a potential charge that it may utilize,” Racine told MSNBC last month. The charge would be a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Everyone in the media has been solely focused on 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection, because that is what the impeachment was about:
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
The media never even considered this piece of brilliant lawyering (I have been waiting for this shoe to drop).
The Hill reports, NAACP, Rep. Bennie Thompson sue Trump, Giuliani over Capitol riot:
The NAACP and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) [the Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security committee] are suing former President Trump, alleging that Trump incited the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 in violation of a Reconstruction Era law commonly referred to as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
Filed Tuesday in the federal District Court of Washington, D.C., the civil complaint comes after the former president was acquitted over the weekend by the Senate in his second impeachment trial which was also focused on the events of Jan. 6.
The lawsuit also names Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two white extremist groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
[Why not also Roger Stone? See, Get Me Roger Stone – For Seditious Conspiracy Against The U.S. and the update in the comments. He was almost certainly part of this conspiracy. Add him as a defendant.].
“We also must recognize that if we allow these groups to become mainstream they won’t be extremists anymore, but part of our reality,” Johnson said. “That’s not a reality that this country can survive.”
Thompson, in a statement, described Trump’s support of the rioters as “gleeful.”
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The Ku Klux Klan Act, passed in 1871, was the third law in a series of legislation created by Congress to slow the violence against and intimidation of Black Americans at the hands of the white hate group following the Civil War.
While much of the law has since become obsolete, several parts have become codified as a statute, including 42 U.S.C. 1985 – Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights — the provision listed in the lawsuit.
(1) Preventing officer from performing duties
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;
The statute specifically safeguards against conspiracies meant “to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office.”
Now a private citizen, Trump faces numerous legal challenges in addition to the newly filed suit.
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According to the NAACP, additional lawmakers, including Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), are expected to join the lawsuit in the coming days.
The Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security committee accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and of conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.
The lawsuit from Mississippi’s Rep. Bennie Thompson is part of an expected wave of litigation over the Jan. 6 riot and is believed to be the first filed by a member of Congress. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
The case also names as defendants the Republican former president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, extremist organizations that had members charged by the Justice Department with taking part in the siege.
The suit, filed in federal court in Washington under a Reconstruction-era law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, comes three days after Trump was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial that centered on allegations that he incited the riot, in which five people died.
[T]he suit traces the drawn-out effort by Trump and Giuliani to cast doubt on the election results even though courts across the country, and state election officials, repeatedly rejected their baseless allegations of fraud. Despite evidence to the contrary, the suit says, the men portrayed the election as stolen while Trump “endorsed rather than discouraged” threats of violence from his angry supporters in the weeks leading up to the assault on the Capitol.
Trump and his allies lost 64 cases in the post election and won 1. https://t.co/shYFXQJXlE
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) February 1, 2021
“The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence,” the suit says. “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.”
See, New York Times Exposé of Donald Trump’s Seditious Conspiracy For A Coup, and update in the comments.
Presidents are historically afforded broad immunity from lawsuits for actions they take in their role as commander in chief. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday was brought against Trump in his personal, not official, capacity and alleges that none of the behavior 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,” Joseph Sellers, a lawyer for Thompson, said in an interview.
“In this respect, because of his conduct, he is just like any other private citizen,” he said.
Sellers, a lawyer with the Washington law firm of Cohen Milstein, filed the case along with the NAACP. Several other members of Congress are expected to join.
Though the impeachment case focused squarely on accusations of incitement, the lawsuit more broadly accuses Trump of conspiring to disrupt the constitutional activities of Congress — namely, the certification of election results establishing Biden as the rightful winner — through a monthslong effort to discredit the outcome and to lean on individual states and his own vice president to overturn the contest.
The case against 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,” Sellers said. “But what we see here is so unprecedented that it’s really reminiscent of what gave rise to the enactment of this legislation right after the Civil War.”
The suit cites incendiary comments that Trump and Giuliani made in the weeks leading up to the riot and on the day of it that lawyers say were designed to mobilize supporters to work to overturn the election results and to prevent the congressional certification process. That process was temporarily interrupted when Trump loyalists broke into the Capitol.
Donald Trump’s sociopathic father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens, in 1927.
It seems only fitting that his equally sociopathic son also be arrested for his white nationalist riot, i.e., the seditious insurrection against the United States government on January 6.
This poisonous fruit didn’t fall far from the poisonous tree.