16 February 2021

Yeah, This Might Work Better Than a Congressional Commission

The N.A.A.C.P. and Representative Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) are suing Donald Trump and Rudolph Giuliani under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

This might get some action, and it will definitely have the defendants compelled to testify under oath about what they knew, when they knew it, and what they did:

The N.A.A.C.P. on Tuesday morning filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, claiming that they violated a 19th century statute when they tried to prevent the certification of the election on Jan. 6.

The civil rights organization brought the suit on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi. Other Democrats in Congress — including Representatives Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey — are expected to join as plaintiffs in the coming weeks, according to the N.A.A.C.P.

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with Congress’s constitutional duties; the suit also names the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group, and the Oath Keepers militia group. The legal action accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiring to incite a violent riot at the Capitol, with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying the election.


Mr. Thompson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington. The suit does not include a specific financial amount.

Mr. Thompson, 72, claims he was put at an increased health risk by later being required to shelter in place in a cramped area that did not allow for social distancing. The lawsuit notes that Mr. Thompson shared confined space with two members of Congress who tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after the attack at the Capitol.


Derrick Johnson, president of the N.A.A.C.P., said the decision to seek compensatory and punitive damages was rooted in a history of tools that have worked to fight back against white supremacy.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan that bankrupted a chapter,” he said, referring to a 2008 judgment against a Kentucky-based Klan outfit that ordered the group to pay $2.5 million in damages. “This is very similar. If we do nothing, we can be ensured these groups will continue to spread and grow in their boldness. We must curb the spread of white supremacy.”

The short version of the 1871 Klu Klux Klan act is that an individual can be held liable both criminally and civilly for depriving a citizen of their Constitutional rights.

Preventing a member of Congress from approving the Electoral Vote count seems to be messing with the Constitution.


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