(AP) — US Capitol Police officers who were attacked and beaten during the Capitol riot filed a lawsuit Thursday against former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of far-right extremist groups, accusing them of intentionally sending a violent mob on January 6 to disrupt the congressional certification of the election.
The suit in federal court in Washington alleges Trump “worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power.”
The suit was filed on behalf of the seven officers by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
It names the former president, the Trump campaign, Trump ally Roger Stone and members of the extremist groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who were present at the Capitol and in Washington on January 6.
Two other similar cases have been filed in recent months by Democratic members of Congress.
The suits allege the actions of Trump and his allies led to the violent siege of the Capitol that injured dozens of police officers, halted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory and sent lawmakers running for their lives as rioters stormed into the seat of American democracy wielding bats, poles and other weapons.
A House committee has started in earnest to investigate what happened that day, sending out requests Wednesday for documents from intelligence, law enforcement and other government agencies.
Their largest request so far was made to the National Archive for information on Trump and his former team.
Trump accused the committee of violating “long-standing legal principles of privilege” but his team had no immediate comment on Thursday’s lawsuit.
“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation,” Trump said.
The suit names as defendants several people who have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot.
They are alleged to have “conspired to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from taking office, to prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes, and to prevent the Capitol Police from carrying out their lawful duties.”
The filing provides vivid accounts of the injuries the officers sustained while trying to fend off the mob as rioters pushed past lines of overwhelmed law enforcers and barged into the Capitol.
One officer, Jason DeRoche, was hit with batteries and sprayed with mace and bear spray until his eyes were swollen shut.
A second officer, Governor Latson, was inside the Senate chamber when the rioters broke through the doors and beat him as they shouted racial slurs, according to the suit.