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March 30, 2021

Two Capitol Police officers filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, accusing him of inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The veteran officers, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, said members of the mob used pepper spray and tear gas to assault them during the deadly riot, which broke out as lawmakers tried to certify President Biden's victory.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., also states that Blassingame is "haunted by the memory of being attacked and of the sensory impacts — the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of the attack remain close to the surface. He experiences guilt of being unable to help his colleagues who were simultaneously being attacked and of surviving where other colleagues did not."

In December, Trump tweeted that there would be "a big protest in D.C. on Jan. 6. Be there. Will be wild!" The officers are suing for unspecified damages for their injuries and emotional distress. Catherine Garcia

March 30, 2021

Nike is headed to court as it attempts to make clear it's not, in fact, selling sneakers containing human blood.

The company has filed a lawsuit against MSCHF Product Studio for trademark infringement after MSCHF teamed up with Lil Nas X to sell modified Nike sneakers called "Satan Shoes," CNN reports. A total of 666 pairs of these sneakers, which contain a drop of actual human blood in the sole and feature a pentagram pendant, were sold on Monday following the rapper's new music video, which depicts him going to hell and giving Satan a lap dance.

Previously, Nike tried to distance itself from the "Satan Shoes," noting it does "not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF" and that it "did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them." But Nike is now going further, in its lawsuit complaining that since the shoes were announced, "Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism."

MSCHF, which previously sold modified Nike sneakers as "Jesus Shoes," had noted to The New York Times that Nike wasn't involved in the making of the shoes in "any capacity." But Nike in its complaint says it's been facing calls for boycotts on social media despite its lack of involvement in the shoes. According to CNN, though, Lil Nas X himself wasn't named in the lawsuit. Brendan Morrow

March 26, 2021

Dominion Voting Systems has filed another major lawsuit, this time against Fox News.

The voting company on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging the cable channel "sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process," The Associated Press reported.

Dominion has in recent months filed numerous defamation lawsuits against individuals who pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that the company changed votes from former President Donald Trump to President Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were both sued by Dominion for $1.3 billion, as was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Dominion had not previously sued a news outlet, though in February, Fox was hit with a separate $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from the voting technology company Smartmatic over election fraud claims.

An attorney for Dominion, Justin Nelson, alleged that Fox News made a "conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies" about election fraud involving the voting company "in order to keep its viewership." According to the AP, Dominion's attorneys have left the door open to also sue individual Fox News personalities. Brendan Morrow

March 17, 2021

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) on Wednesday sued the Biden administration, saying a provision in the American Rescue Plan — the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package — imposes "unconstitutional" limits on how states can access some of the aid.

The measure includes a $350 billion fund to assist state and local governments with paying for costs related to the coronavirus pandemic; Ohio is set to receive about $11.2 billion of those funds. The bill prevents states from using the money to offset tax cuts, which Yost argues is too broad of a requirement.

In a court filing, Ohio's lawyers said the mandate "gives the states a choice: they can have either the badly needed federal funds or their sovereign authority to set state tax policy. But they cannot have both. In our current economic crisis, that is no choice at all." Ohio is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent this part of the bill from being enforced.

On Tuesday, 21 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for clarification of how the measure will be applied. A Biden administration official told The Washington Post that Congress has the authority to "establish reasonable conditions on how states should use federal funding," and the relief package does not prohibit all tax cuts. Catherine Garcia

February 22, 2021

The "MyPillow guy" has been hit with a $1.3 billion lawsuit over his false election claims.

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and his company, citing his false claims that Dominion's voting machines were involved in a conspiracy to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The lawsuit, which seeks $1.3 billion in damages, alleges Lindell "knew there was no real 'evidence' supporting his claims" and is "well aware of the independent audits and paper ballot recounts conclusively disproving the Big Lie," but he "sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows." Lindell earlier this month pushed his false election fraud claims in a documentary that aired on One America News Network following a lengthy disclaimer. He has been permanently banned from Twitter over the false claims.

Dominion previously filed similar lawsuits against attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell over their election conspiracy theories, and Lindell had welcomed the company to sue him as well.

"I want them to sue me," Lindell told CBS in January. "Please. Because I have all the evidence, 100 percent."

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dominion attorney Megan Meier said that "even as some of his allies have started to quiet down a bit, Mr. Lindell has doubled down and tripled down." Meanwhile, Lindell told the Journal he was "very, very happy" that learn that Dominion sued him. Brendan Morrow

February 16, 2021

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. Brendan Morrow

January 25, 2021

Rudy Giuliani has been hit with a $1.3 billion lawsuit over his false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani, personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, after he baselessly alleged the voting machine company was involved in a conspiracy to change votes from Trump to President Biden in 2020, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court in Washington and charges Giuliani with making "demonstrably false" claims about the company as part of a "viral disinformation campaign," according to the Times. Dominion is seeking over $1.3 billion in damages.

This comes after Dominion previously filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Sidney Powell, a former Trump lawyer who also repeatedly made false claims accusing the company of being involved in an election fraud conspiracy. In an interview with the Times, Dominion lawyer Thomas A. Clare promised to bring additional lawsuits in the future.

"There will certainly be others," Clare said. "There are other individuals who have spoken the big lie and have put forward these defamatory statements about Dominion, but then there are also players in the media that have amplified it."

Clare also suggested to the Times the company could even sue Trump himself, saying, "We're not ruling anybody out. Obviously, this lawsuit against the president's lawyer moves one step closer to the former president and understanding what his role was and wasn't." Brendan Morrow

December 2, 2020

Ivanka Trump, President Trump's eldest daughter and one of his senior advisers, was deposed on Tuesday as part of a civil lawsuit alleging the misuse of inaugural funds, court documents show.

The District of Columbia attorney general's office sued the Trump Organization and Presidential Inaugural Committee in January, claiming that they misused more than $1 million by "grossly overpaying" for event space in the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The suit alleges that in one case, a nonprofit corporation called the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, in coordination with the Trump family, paid more than $300,000 to hold a private reception at the hotel for Ivanka Trump and her brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, on Jan. 20, 2017.

"District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies," District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said earlier this year.

Court filings show that Tom Barrack, the chairman of Trump's inaugural committee, was deposed on Nov. 17. The lawsuit alleges that during inaugural planning, Barrack "personally managed" discussions with the hotel about the event spaces used. Catherine Garcia

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