Washington, DC, sues Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan. 6

Dec 14, 2021, 12:29 PM | Updated: 10:44 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia has filed a civil lawsuit seeking harsh financial penalties against far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, also names dozens of the groups’ senior members, many of whom already face criminal charges for taking part in the violent attack on the Capitol building while Congress was meeting to certify the 2020 election results.

Karl Racine, Washington’s attorney general, said the lawsuit seeks compensation for damages to the District of Columbia and intends to inflict maximum financial damage on the groups responsible.

“Out intent is to hold these violent mobsters and violent hate groups accountable and to get every penny of damage we can,” Racine said. “If it so happens that we bankrupt them, then that’s a good day.”

There was no immediate response to emails sent to the groups seeking comment.

The lawsuit cites as its basis a post-Civil War 1871 law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. A similar tactic was used to secure a $26 million verdict last month against white supremacist groups and individuals responsible for organizing the violent 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one person was killed after a man plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters.

The lawsuit came as the Justice Department on Tuesday separately charged three more suspected members of the Proud Boys from Pennsylvania for their alleged roles in January’s riot.

The men, Isaiah Giddings and Freedom Vy of Philadelphia and Brian Healion of Upper Darby, are all accused of working with another suspected Proud Boys member, Zachary Rehl — who was arrested in March — to breach the Capitol. Prosecutors say the group traveled together from Pennsylvania and the trio was photographed posing both outside the Capitol and inside the building.

Racine announced the suit Tuesday alongside Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives. Norton said the suit is designed to secure extra funding to support D.C. police officers injured while defending the Capitol building and to serve as a warning to extremist groups.

“They’re going to have to spend money to defend themselves,” Norton said. “Even if we don’t get a penny in restitution, this lawsuit’s deterrent effect will say, ‘Be prepared to spend money to defend yourself because we are coming after you.’ ”

Racine said evidence presented in the multiple federal criminal cases underway already proves “explicit evidence of conspiracy” to commit violent acts in the nation’s capital. He said the lawsuit presents an opportunity to publicly explore and expose the financial support structure of the far-right extremist network.

“I sure hope they try to defend the case,” he said. “We can’t wait to propound searing questions about the finances of these individuals and these groups.”

The Proud Boys emerged from far-right fringes during the Trump administration to join mainstream GOP circles. The Oath Keepers is a militia group founded in 2009 that recruits current and former military, police and first responders.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Cowboys For Trump leader fighting to keep job in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin is fighting to keep his seat as a New Mexico county commissioner as he faces possible removal and disqualification from public office for his participation in last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Griffin was previously convicted of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds […]
10 hours ago
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., finishes the vote to approve the Inflation Reduction Act in t...
Associated Press

What’s in big Biden bill? Health, climate goals become law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden arrived at the White House promising to “build back” America, and legislation he’s signing Tuesday delivers a slimmer, though not insignificant, version of that once sweeping idea. Approved by the divided Congress, the bill brings the biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. Also in the […]
10 hours ago
In this image provided by the Military True News Information Team, United Nations special envoy Noe...
Associated Press

UN special envoy to Myanmar arrives on inaugural visit

BANGKOK (AP) — United Nations special envoy Noeleen Heyzer arrived in Myanmar on Tuesday on her first mission to the country since her appointment last year. Her visit follows a call by the U.N. Security Council for an immediate end to all forms of violence there and unimpeded humanitarian access to those affected by the […]
10 hours ago
FILE - CNBC's Mark Hoffman appears during a panel discussion on the changing worlds of media and mu...
Associated Press

Mark Hoffman out as CNBC chief, KC Sullivan replacing him

NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran CNBC chief Mark Hoffman is leaving the network after 28 years, with London-based executive KC Sullivan replacing him early next month, the network said on Tuesday. Hoffman was named president of the financial news network in 2005 and elevated to chairman in 2015. “During his tenure, CNBC became a world […]
10 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Arizona Governor's Office shows shipping containers that will be ...
Associated Press

Illegal border crossings fall in July but remain high

Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline.
10 hours ago
FILE - This April 24, 2019 photo shows photographs of descendants of enslaved people who were sold ...
Associated Press

Lag in slavery reparations from US Jesuits irks descendants

Last year, the U.S. branch of the Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million for a reconciliation initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved by the Catholic order. On Tuesday, a leader of those descendants expressed deep dissatisfaction with the order’s lack of progress since then. Joseph Stewart, in a publicly released letter to […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Washington, DC, sues Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan. 6