Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine (D) announced that he is suing the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for their alleged involvement in planning and carrying out the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The lawsuit also aims to hold more than 30 individuals accountable for their role in the deadly attack.
The lawsuit specifically claims the groups, and their leaders and members, caused extensive damage to the District of Columbia, and particularly to the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to defend the Capitol, those in it, the District, and our democracy.
Racine filed the suit under federal and local laws, including the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, a Reconstruction-era federal law designed to provide a remedy against violent conspiracies that target our democracy like the attack that unfolded on January 6.
“On January 6, organized violent actors and groups assaulted our country’s freedom and terrorized our community here in the District, threatening the safety of the more than 700,000 Americans—including children, families, teachers, and businesses —who call the District home,” said AG Racine
“We are filing this lawsuit to hold accountable the groups and individuals who conspired to attack our freedom, brutalize our law enforcement officers, and terrorize our community,” Racine said. “This suit is seeking substantial financial damages to obtain restitution and recompense to victims, including law enforcement officers, many of whom continue to suffer physical and mental trauma and the District itself. By seeking justice through this civil lawsuit, we will hit the organizers, planners, and participants in their wallets and purses in order to deter and dismantle their ability to strike again.”
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the lawsuit alleges that the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and more than 30 of the individual members of these groups participated in a coordinated violent attack intended to interfere with the functioning of government and overturn a lawful election.
In the complaint, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) details how the groups planned, recruited, publicized, funded, and then carried out the attack – breaking through police barricades, forcing their way into the Capitol building, terrorizing members of Congress and their staffs, and brutally assaulting those who tried to stop them, including officers of the District’s MPD.
Racine’s move follows a similar lawsuit in Virginia that was ruled on last month, in which a jury found a group of white nationalists liable for more than $25 million in damages for their role in planning the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.