'Wholly responsible:' Rep. Swalwell sues Donald Trump for inciting Capitol riot
WASHINGTON - East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell filed a civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and his allies on Friday for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Rep. Mo Brook are also named as defendants.
Swalwell said they are "wholly responsible" for the injury and destruction on Jan. 6 because of their lies that the electiono was stolen.
Following the speeches at a pro-Trump rally held earlier that day, many in the crowd marched to the Capitol, broke into the building and looked for lawmakers who were certifying Biden's victory over Trump in the 2020 election. Five people, including a US Capitol Police officer, died.
As CNN pointed out, Swalwell's lawsuit follows a similar one filed last month by Rep. Bennie Thompson against Trump, Giuliani and the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Swalwell's case makes some of the same claims as Thompson's -- citing a civil rights law meant to counter the Ku Klux Klan's intimidation of elected officials.
But it also alleges Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks broke Washington, D.C, laws, including an anti-terrorism act, by inciting the riot, and that they aided and abetted violent rioters and inflicted emotional distress on the members of Congress.
Swalwell, who was locked down in the House chamber during the siege, claims Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks prompted the attack on Congress with their repeated public assertions of voter fraud.
Each of them had told the crowd that Biden's electoral certification in Congress could be blocked, and urged Trump's supporters to fight, the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit attempts to connect the speeches directly to the crowd's response.
"In what should have been a sign of how the crowd was receiving the Defendants' claims and allegations, spontaneous chants of 'Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!' rose up as Trump Jr. lambasted the alleged 'glaring inconsistencies' and 'statistical impossibilities' that allegedly had made President Biden's win possible," the lawsuit said.
Efforts to reach the Trump team on Friday were not immediately successful.
Read the lawsuit below: