Former President Donald Trump has retained a lawyer to represent him in a lawsuit brought by two Capitol Police officers over his role in inciting the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6. According to The Daily Beast, Jesse Binnall is now the former president’s lawyer in that case, in which officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby claim that Trump “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the “insurrectionist mob” that swarmed the Capitol on that fateful day, murderously hunting top government leaders in the name of Trump’s lies about the election.
More specifically, the lawsuit accuses Trump of criminal activity including “incitement to riot” and “directing, aiding, and abetting assault and battery,” as The Daily Beast summarizes. Both of the officers who brought the suit are among the some 140 officers who were injured by the raging pro-Trump mob at the Capitol. Capitol Police officers’ union chair Gus Papathanasiou has said that officers’ injuries included “cracked ribs,” “smashed spinal discs,” and a stab wound from a metal fence stake. The violent Trump-aligned mob was relentless.
Binnall, Trump’s newly retained lawyer, is already representing the former president in two other lawsuits related to the Capitol violence. Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) have, in their own respective lawsuits, accused Trump “of conspiring to disrupt the Congressional counting of electoral college votes,” as The Daily Beast explains. Both of the lawsuits accuse Trump of violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act, which, when enacted, “made it a federal crime to use “force, intimidation, or threat” to infringe on people’s rights to vote, hold office, testify in court and serve on a jury,” as The Washington Post explains.
Trump’s attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory — which is what Congress was working on when the pro-Trump mob stormed the building — would have, if successful, meant trashing the input of the tens of millions of Americans who voted for Biden. The rioters operated under the pretense of Trump’s lie that the election was rigged for Biden, but Trump also, more directly, called on his supporters to “fight like hell” in remarks at an outdoor rally in D.C. preceding the violence.
Notably, Trump has not stopped pushing the lies about the election that the rioters used as a pretense. He continues to insist that the election was somehow rigged for Biden and that he himself was the rightful winner, despite the total lack of supporting evidence.