Eric Swalwell

Donald Trump faces new lawsuit alleging incitement of Capitol riot

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, sues the former president and other speakers at the Jan. 6 rally for conspiracy, infliction of emotional distress

Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages


Rep. Eric Swalwell (D. Calif.) on Friday sued former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) on allegations they conspired to incite the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Mr. Swalwell, one of the House managers for Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial, filed the civil lawsuit in a Washington federal court. It comes about three weeks after another House Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson, brought a similar case.

The lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages, alleges Mr. Trump and his co-defendants engaged in “a campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric which led to the sacking of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

Lawmakers were in the process of certifying President Biden’s electoral victory on Jan. 6 when the rioters swarmed the Capitol, sending lawmakers and aides scrambling out of the House and Senate chambers, some hiding for hours until law enforcement pushed the mob out.

“Fearing for their lives, the plaintiff and others masked their identities as members of Congress, texted loved ones in case the worst happened, and took shelter throughout the Capitol complex,” Mr. Swalwell’s lawsuit said.

In addition to the conspiracy allegations, the suit accuses Mr. Trump and the other defendants of unlawful negligence, infliction of emotional distress, aiding and abetting assault and disorderly conduct. All of the defendants spoke at a rally near the White House shortly before the Capitol attack.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, called Mr. Swalwell “a lowlife with no credibility” who is “attacking our greatest president with yet another witch hunt.” Mr. Miller also accused Mr. Swalwell of doing the bidding for China.

At his impeachment trial, the Senate voted Feb. 13 to acquit Mr. Trump of inciting the Capitol riot, with seven Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in favor of conviction—short of the 67 votes needed.

Mr. Brooks called the lawsuit meritless and said, “I make no apologies whatsoever for fighting for accurate and honest elections.”

Representatives for Messrs. Giuliani and Trump Jr. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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