Impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Is seen taking a break on the third day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
Tom Williams | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a House attorney during the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, filed a lawsuit against the former president on Friday for instigating the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol.
The Swalwell, D-Calif. Civil lawsuit also accuses Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Of “being wholly responsible for the injury and destruction” caused the crowd.
Swalwell’s 65-page lawsuit accuses the defendants of conspiring to block Biden’s victory, inciting insurgency, promoting and facilitating common law attacks, committing biased crimes, and deliberately causing emotional stress and negligence.
The congressman calls for a trial by a jury in the US District Court in Washington, DC
The Senate acquitted Trump last month of an article instigating the Capitol riot that resulted in five deaths and forced a joint session of Congress to go into hiding.
Before the crowd of Trump’s supporters stormed the building, Trump held a rally outside the White House, repeating a series of baseless election theft conspiracies and putting pressure on Republicans to reject President Joe Biden’s victory. Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks also spoke at the Stop the Steal rally.
Property managers, led by Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Argued that Trump was directly fueling the violence of his supporters. They failed to convince two-thirds of the Senate, which is split between Republicans and Democrats, to vote in favor of condemning the former president.
When asked to comment on the lawsuit, Trump spokesman Jason Miller responded with a series of slurs against Swalwell, accusing him of “attacking our greatest president with yet another witch hunt”.
Giuliani did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman for Brooks’ office did not immediately make a comment.
Swalwell’s legal action is the second lawsuit filed by a seated member of Congress accusing Trump of instigating the deadly uprising.
Bennie Thompson, Chair of Homeland Security Committee, D-Miss., And the NAACP filed their own lawsuit against Trump and Giuliani last month, accusing them of conspiring to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory.
Both lawsuits cite sections of the “Ku Klux Klan Act” of 1871, which are intended to protect against political violence and intimidation.
Thompson’s lawsuit also cites the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two groups whose members are known to be among the thousands who stormed the Capitol complex.
Swalwell’s lawsuit alleges that the mob attacked the Capitol “as a direct and predictable consequence of the defendants ‘false and brand-new allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the defendants’ explicit demands for violence at the rally.”
Managers had made the same argument in Trump’s second impeachment trial, which in large part centered on whether it was constitutional to convict a former president. Many Republicans focused on this procedural issue rather than trying to defend Trump’s behavior explicitly.
Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said after the trial that Trump “is still liable for everything he did during his tenure”.
“He hasn’t gotten away with anything,” said McConnell, who voted to acquit Trump.
Read Swalwell’s lawsuit against Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani, and Brooks: