For a lawsuit from Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) over their role in inciting the deadly rioting at the U.S. Capitol in January, ex-President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., have now gotten a lawyer. Their legal representation is attorney Jesse Binnall, who’s representing both of them and whose past experience includes a stint as part of the legal team for disgraced ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn, who eventually received a pardon from then-President Trump after facing a criminal case for lying to authorities. Binnall’s other legal work includes representation for the Trump campaign in a post-election lawsuit in Nevada.
Swalwell accuses the ex-president and his son, both of whom spoke at a January 6 rally shortly before the Capitol rioting, of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, a federal prohibition against political intimidation. The legislation established federal criminal penalties for using “force, intimidation, or threat” in any incident targeting people expressing their political rights, like the right to vote, which aptly sums up the Capitol rioting. At the Capitol, Trump supporters — who were operating under the explicit pretense of Trump’s lie that the election was rigged for Biden — hoped to violently stop the formal certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
Trump explicitly admonished his supporters to gather in D.C. on January 6, and in his pre-riot remarks at a “Stop the Steal” rally in the vicinity of the Capitol, he explicitly floated plans to march to the building and insisted that “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” How could anyone reasonably expect any observers to not see a connection between Trump’s remarks and the Capitol rioting? Footage has emerged showing folks in the crowd at the rally where Trump spoke shouting out messages like “invade the Capitol building!” The violence connection is obvious.
“‘Storm the Capitol.’ ‘Invade the Capitol.’… ‘Take the Capitol right now.’ These were the words of the crowd. Trump was telling them to fight and he would keep telling them to fight throughout the rest of his speech.” pic.twitter.com/GUWXMYZgdn
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) February 10, 2021
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has previously filed a lawsuit against Trump on grounds similar to Swalwell’s case, alleging that the ex-president violated the Ku Klux Klan Act. Binnall is also representing Trump in response to Thompson’s lawsuit, and he also represented the former president in a lawsuit from late last year that alleged that he “sought to overturn the result of the election by disenfranchising voters, in particular voters of color” through means including “intimidating election officials and vote tabulators while they counted votes.” Trump repeatedly floated utterly false conspiracy theories about supposed corruption in the vote-counting process after the election.