Rep. Swalwell sues Trump over alleged role in Capitol assault
The Democratic congressman alleges that Trump directly incited the violence.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., Friday, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has sued former President Donald Trump and some of his allies, including his son Donald Trump Jr., personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, over their alleged roles in the events leading up to and surrounding the Capitol assault on Jan. 6.
In the 65-page suit, Swalwell, who was a House impeachment manager during Trump's second Senate trial, alleges that they all directly incited the violence at the U.S. Capitol by putting out "a clear call to action" that some in the crowd responded to.
"Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun," the lawsuit alleges.
"As Trump was instructing them to go to the Capitol, insurgents were already forcing their way through barricades, attempting to breach the building, while blasting Trump’s speech on a bullhorn," it says.
It also claims that the defendants also violated federal laws, including D.C.'s Anti-Terrorism Act.
"After failing miserably with two impeachment hoaxes, [Swalwell is] attacking our greatest President with yet another witch hunt," Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told ABC News in response to the lawsuit. "It’s a disgrace that a compromised Member of Congress like Swalwell still sits on the House Intelligence Committee."
In a statement to ABC News in January, Trump campaign officials denied that any active members of its team were involved in the planning of the rally that preceded the riot.
No one named in the suit has yet to comment on the allegations.
Swalwell alleges in the filing that the events at the Capitol "were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants' unlawful actions," and in a statement posted on his Twitter account, Swalwell said they all bear responsibility for the injury and destruction that followed.
"As a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants' false and incendiary allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the Defendants' express calls for violence at the rally, a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol and stop Congress's counting of electoral college votes. The Defendants' assembled, inflamed and incited the mob, and as such are wholly responsible for the injury and destruction that followed," the suit claims.
It's the second lawsuit of its kind attempting to hold the former president and those close to him accountable for their actions leading up to and surrounding Jan. 6.
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, alleged in a lawsuit last month that Trump, Giuliani the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers conspired to violate the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which prohibits any actions designed to prevent Congress from carrying out its duties, when they incited the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.