Two Democratic lawmakers will try to convince a court that former President Donald Trump caused them so much pain and anguish that he should have to pay them and other lawmakers.
“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,” said a filing in a lawsuit filed by Reps. Eric Swalwell and Jimmy Gomez, both California Democrats.
“Many participants in the attack have since revealed that they were acting on what they believed to be former President Trump’s orders in service of their country,” the filing continued.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit names Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, who served as the former president’s personal attorney. Swalwell and Gomez have also named a House colleague, Rep. Mo Brooks, Alabama Republican, as well. All three of them spoke at the Jan. 6 rally ahead of the Capitol Building riot.
“The defendants filed frivolous lawsuits [to overturn the 2020 election], all of which failed,” the complaint states. “[They] tried to intimidate state officials, none of whom caved to the pressure. Out of options and out of time, the defendants called their supporters to Washington, D.C., on the day Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s win, telling them to ‘Stop the Steal’ and ‘be wild.’
The ‘evidence’ cited in the filing includes comments made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who said during a floor speech in February that the former president was “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the Capitol riot, though that’s obviously one man’s opinion and is not rooted in any facts or evidence, especially since Trump told the crowd that day to “peacefully protest” certification of electors.
The filing also quoted Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD), who said Trump could be held accountable “in a court of law” — again, just one man’s opinion.
“Those with knowledge claimed that during this moment of national horror, Trump was ‘delighted’ and was ‘confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was.’ Others described Trump as ‘borderline enthusiastic’ about the unfolding violence,” according to the suit.
These claims have been debunked.
Swalwell is a lawyer and a former deputy district attorney, so he should know better than to submit subjective opinions as “evidence” in a case. But he’s a partisan first and foremost.
In response to the filing, Jason Miller, Trump’s spokesman, called Swalwell a “low-life” with “no credibility.”
“Eric Swalwell is a low-life with no credibility who got caught ‘dating’ the Chinese spy Fang-Fang and makes disgusting bodily noises on national television,” Miller said. “Now, after failing miserably with two impeachment hoaxes, ‘Mr. Fang-Fang’ is doing the bidding of his Chinese masters and attacking our greatest President with yet another witch hunt. It’s a disgrace that a compromised Member of Congress like Swalwell still sits on the House Intelligence Committee.”
For his part, Brooks described the lawsuit as frivolous and “a meritless ploy.”
“I make no apologies whatsoever for fighting for accurate and honest elections,” he said, noting further he wore the lawsuit “like a badge of courage.”