Bay Area congressman Swalwell files lawsuit against Trump for Capitol riot


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Bay Area’s U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell has filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Guiliani; as well as Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., were also named in the suit filed Friday.

Swalwell alleges that the three helped incite the attack on the U.S. Capitol. An excerpt from the lawsuit says:

“Trump implored the crowd to “fight like hell” and “walk down Pennsylvania
Avenue . . . to the Capitol.” According to an analysis of cell phone location data, approximately
40% of the rally attendees did just that.

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. 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.”

Swalwell v. Trump

The congressman served as a House impeachment manager during Trump’s trial. He was in the Capitol when the rioters broke down glass and doors to disrupt a session on certifying the election results.

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In a statement, he said the attack “terrorized lawmakers and prevented us from doing our job of certifying the votes of the American people.”

Another legislator has also been named as a defendant. Swalwell claims Alabama’s U.S. representative Mo Brooks, who spoke at Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 ahead of the pro-Trump attack, had his own role in undermining election results.

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington. An AP review of records finds that members of President Donald Trump’s failed campaign were key players in the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol last week. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“Brooks—acting in his personal capacity— conspired with the other Defendants to undermine the election results by alleging, without evidence, that the election had been rigged and by pressuring elected officials, courts, and ultimately Congress to reject the results,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit cites several Trump tweets as evidence in the former president’s alleged incitement.

In a tweet he posted just one day before the Capitol riot, Trump said “thousands of people pouring into D.C. … won’t stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen.”

Trump was impeached by the House, for a second time, on an “incitement of insurrection” charge. However, the Senate voted to acquit the former president.

After that, lawmakers had hinted that it would not be the end in holding Trump accountable. They said more investigations would come.

Even Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who voted to acquit Trump, supported further inquiries.

“His behavior after the election was over the top,” Graham had said. “We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again.”

In mid-February, Mississippi’s Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, filed the first federal lawsuit also accusing Trump of inciting the attack and of conspiring with Giuliani, plus extremist groups, to try to prevent the Senate from certifying Joe Biden’s win.

The pro-Trump-rally-turned-violent attack in early January resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer. Another Capitol officer died shortly after by suicide.

Two months later, the FBI is still trying to find and arrest more suspects who breached the Capitol.

The agency has already arrested over 100 people in the attack, including some from the Bay Area.

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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