WASHINGTON - Seven Capitol police officers are suing former President Donald Trump, along with two prominent far-right organizations, for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to lawyers representing them.
Along with the former president and his campaign, the civil suit names noted Trump associate Roger Stone, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Stop the Steal movement, and other assorted members of those organizations as defendants.
According to the organization Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the defendants "violated the federal Ku Klux Klan Act, the D.C. Bias-Related Crimes Act, and other laws."
They say the Capitol riot – as a result of which five people died, including a Capitol police officer – was triggered by Trump’s claim that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.
The mob besieged the U.S. Capitol after leaving a rally featuring the former president, in which he reiterated claims that the election had been "stolen" from him.
When the rioters stormed the Capitol, they temporarily halted a joint session of Congress’ electoral vote certification process, which ultimately cemented President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
According to the lawsuit, the former president played a leadership role in the incident:
"Trump employed, planned for, and encouraged the use of force, intimidation, and threats to try to stop the Congressional count of electoral votes on January 6. He followed the capitol Attack on television and social media as it happened, and despite requests made to Trump to call off the attackers—including from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—he refused to do so for hours as he watched on live television the attackers overrun the Capitol and threaten its lawful occupants. Instead, Trump encouraged and supported the attackers. While the attack was ongoing, Trump and his co-conspirators contacted members of Congress, not to offer support or protection, but to pressure them to delay further and to stop the Congressional count."
The officers who filed the suit also provided a statement:
"We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community. 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."