DC Attorney General Sues Proud Boys and Oath Keepers Over 6 January Capitol Unrest
17:08 GMT 14.12.2021 (Updated: 18:08 GMT 14.12.2021)
The attorney general reportedly wants to use a law originally written to target the Ku Klux Klan in order to sue the two right-wing groups.
DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Washington targeting two right-wing groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, over their alleged responsibility for the violence that ensued on 6 January at the US Capitol.
Racine's civil suit says that Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Police Department suffered great damages due to the actions of the two groups. The attorney general accuses them of planning, promoting, and participating in the deadly attack on the Capitol.
"I’m seeking damages in this case and will keep working to ensure such an assault never happens again".
The attorney general told The Washington Post
in an interview that he believes the damages inflicted by the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were "substantial". He noted that should the lawsuit put "these individuals and entities in financial peril, so be it". Apart from the two groups, the suit names several dozen of their prominent members
The tactic and the law that Racine is using in his lawsuit are similar to those the US government used against the Ku Klux Klan. The law, which was passed in 1871 and known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, was used in the 1980s to bankrupt the Alabama-based Klan forcing it to sell its property to cover the damage done to the family of a black man Klan members had murdered.
23 November 2021, 20:12 GMT
The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers are also facing other lawsuits over their participation in the storming of the US Congress building on 6 January, as well as FBI scrutiny
for the same reason. But the two groups haven't remained idle despite making no prominent national appearances since 6 January, The New York Times
Instead of organising more national rallies, the two groups started to engage in local issues, dissolving their national leadership and delegating control to local chapters in such cities as Seattle and Philadelphia, and smaller towns like Beloit, Wisconsin. Their representatives started to show up at city council gatherings, school board meetings, and other local events, all while actively recruiting, the newspaper said.
The Proud Boys' ultimate goal with this move is to gain more traction by the time of the next midterm elections in 2022, the newspaper reported, citing Jeremy Bertino, a prominent member of the Proud Boys from North Carolina.