Former President Donald Trump looks on during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 7, 2021, in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images)
By Kipp Jones August 26, 2021 at 4:00pm
A number of U.S Capitol Police officers have filed a lawsuit accusing former President Donald Trump of being partially responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
Seven officers filed the lawsuit in the Washington, D.C., federal district court on Thursday. The suit names several groups and individuals, including Trump, as defendants.
The lawsuit claims Trump “planned for, and encouraged the use of force, intimidation, and threats to try to stop the Congressional count of electoral votes on January 6.”
Other defendants named in the lawsuit include Roger Stone, the Trump campaign, and members of the Proud Boys and other far-right organizations, according to a news release from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the group representing the officers.
“Then-President Trump, following his loss in the 2020 presidential election, worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to … commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power,” the lawyers alleged in the release.
The lawsuit calls the incursion a “violent, mass attack — an attack provoked, aided, and joined by Defendants in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election.”
The suit claims that because of Trump and the other defendants, the officers were “violently assaulted, spat on, tear-gassed, bear-sprayed, subjected to racial slurs and epithets, and put in fear for their lives.”
As a result, the suit alleges, the officers suffered “physical, psychological and emotional injuries.”
Do you think this lawsuit will succeed in pinning the incursion on Trump?
“We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community,” the officers said in a statement.
“On Jan. 6 we tried to stop people from breaking the law and destroying our democracy. Since then our jobs and those of our colleagues have become infinitely more dangerous. We want to do what we can to make sure the people who did this are held accountable and that no one can do this again.”
The lawyers representing the officers also said that “for months after the 2020 election had been officially called, former President Trump and his associates made coordinated and systematic attempts to lodge their false claims of election fraud, targeted toward major cities with significant populations of voters of color.
“The lies of this conspiracy intentionally energized white supremacists and violent extremist groups and actively encouraged them to coordinate the violent attack on the Capitol. These actions put our clients in harm’s way to defend the votes and voices the conspiracy was intended to silence.”
“Trump and the other defendants propagated false, inherently racist claims of election fraud and other lies to build a conspiracy that would culminate in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol,” the lawyers added.
“They threatened and encouraged violence against political adversaries, elections officials, and members of Congress. And they directed thousands of incensed Trump supporters to march to the Capitol and fight. The result was a violent attempt to subvert the will of the electorate and disenfranchise the American people.”
The lawsuit was announced a week after reports emerged that the FBI could not find any conclusive evidence that the Capitol incursion was planned or coordinated.
“There was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages,” a former senior law enforcement official close to the investigation said.
A pro-Trump military veteran named Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed during the Jan. 6 riot by a Capitol Police officer.
No officers were killed on Jan. 6.