Recently, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sued the far-right groups known as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, along with a slew of their members, over the violence that unfolded at the Capitol on January 6. Both entities have been closely tied to the attack on the Capitol, and numerous individuals tied to the groups — such as those named as defendants in the Racine lawsuit — have been criminally charged for their participation in the violence. Racine’s case seeks to impose financial penalties on those involved in order to help cover damages sustained by authorities in D.C. in connection to the Capitol rampage.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show this weekend, Racine touted his case, which hinges on what The Washington Post identified as the “modern version” of a post-Civil War law that forbade the usage of violence to impede the exercise of certain political rights. Concurrent legal provisions were also meant to protect government officials fulfilling their official responsibilities. Obviously, both of these concerns — protecting civil rights and protecting government officials — are closely tied to what happened in January.
Racine commented as follows:
‘Our case is detailed. It’s specific. It’s document-focused, text-focused, and video-focused. And what it establishes is that the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and 30+ individuals conspired, planned, organized, and participated on an attempt to take away our freedom. They injured the District of Columbia and its Metropolitan Police Department officers. And, as a result of their actions, the District of Columbia suffered injuries.’
Racine recapped some of what led up to this point in time, adding the following:
‘Questions are being properly asked — thank God for the January 6 committee. Thank God for Liz Cheney’s honesty, and thank God for their thoroughness. What we’re going to do is hit these defendants where it counts, and the evidence is that when you hit defendants like these hate groups where it counts, they scatter, they run, they’re no longer able to organize hateful and violent acts like that which occurred on January 6.’
Watch Racine’s comments below:
.@AGKarlRacine on his lawsuit against the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers: “When you hit defendants like these hate groups where it counts, they scatter, they run, they're no longer able to organize hateful and violent acts like that, which occurred on Jan. 6.” #SundayShow pic.twitter.com/H1AGyht8WQ
— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) December 19, 2021
The Ku Klux Klan Act — that post-Civil War law that provides the foundation for Racine’s case — has also been cited in legal proceedings targeting former President Donald Trump (among others) over the violence on January 6. Like Racine’s case, those proceedings are also civil in nature rather than tied to criminal charges. Arguments over whether those proceedings should continue have been scheduled for January 10 by federal Judge Amit Mehta, who is also handling criminal proceedings covering actions of individual members of the Oath Keepers surrounding the Capitol violence.
345 days ago terrorists ransacked the US Capitol and *hours later* 138-of-202 (68%) House republicans voted to make trump a dictator. They tried to finish the rioters’ job and end democracy. Never forget it.
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) December 19, 2021