D.C. Attorney General Goes After Proud Boys For Jan. 6 Attack

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D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has sued the violent, far-right groups known as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers for damages in relation to the attack on the Capitol in January, with which both organizations were involved. As explained by The Washington Post, Racine’s lawsuit “cites the modern version of an 1871 law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act,” and that law — as its name might suggest — was broadly geared against the usage of violence to impede the exercise of political rights. The Post notes that the law was also angled “to safeguard government officials carrying out their duties” — an element of the government’s operation that was, of course, directly under threat on January 6.

Racine said that his lawsuit is geared towards obtaining “full restitution and recompense” for Washington, D.C., following the violence. Costs that have been incurred include the care of injured police officers who were targeted by frenzied rioters during the attack. As Racine put it:

‘I think the damages are substantial… If it so happens that it bankrupts or puts these individuals and entities in financial peril, so be it.’

Besides the organizations themselves, Racine’s case also targets a slew of prominent members within the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Members of both groups have already been hit with serious federal criminal charges over their direct participation in the violence at the Capitol, and the charges that they’re facing — including alleged offenses such as conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding — come with the potential of up to decades in prison, if convicted. In other words, there’s a lot at stake here. Racine added that he’s “particularly interested in understanding the financial apparatus of these individuals and entities and where the money came from.”

Racine’s lawsuit itself asserts, in part, that defendants conspired “to prevent, interrupt, hinder, and impede, through force, intimidation, and threat… United States officials from discharging official duties of their offices and positions of trust as part of the formal process for counting and certifying the count of electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election and declaring a winner of the 2020 presidential election.” Evidence for pre-riot planning and coordination between the groups comes from the individuals under scrutiny themselves. Separately, for instance, federal prosecutors have spotlighted that Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs claimed to have set up an “alliance” with the Proud Boys and another far-right group before the violence at the Capitol. Read more at this link.

The people involved in these organizations appear both dangerous and loyal to Trump. Recently, for instance, a member of the Proud Boys was sentenced to seven years in prison following offenses including the illegal possession of thousands of rounds of ammunition. And at a recent event featuring Trump in Sunrise, Florida, a local newspaper reported that members of the Proud Boys were among those present.

Featured Image (edited): via Anthony Crider on Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons License