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House Democrat argues Trump violated Ku Klux Klan Act in Capitol riot lawsuit

Three days after former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate for his role in the Capitol riot, one Democratic lawmaker is taking the matter to federal court.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, sued Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday, accusing them of conspiring with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers to incite the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, CNN reports. The civil lawsuit cites the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which prohibits the use of violence or intimidation to prevent federal officials from performing their duties, according to The Associated Press.

"The defendants conspired to prevent, by force, intimidation and threats, the plaintiff, as a member of Congress, from discharging his official duties to approve the count of votes cast by members of the Electoral College following the presidential election held in November 2020," the lawsuit alleges.

Attorney Joseph Sellers, who filed the lawsuit along with the NAACP, told The Associated Press that inciting a riot or trying to interfere with the certification of election results "could not conceivably be within the scope of ordinary responsibilities of the president," and Trump is "just like any other private citizen" in this case.

Trump, who for months pushed false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, spoke before a crowd of his supporters and urged them to "fight" on the day Congress was meeting to certify President Biden's election win. In an impeachment trial, the former president's attorneys argued he wasn't responsible for inciting the subsequent deadly riot, and the Senate acquitted him on a charge of "incitement of insurrection."

Still, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after voting not guilty said there's "no question" that Trump is "practically and morally responsible for provoking" the riot, and he added that the former president can still be held liable for his actions in court.

"He didn't get away with anything yet," McConnell said.