Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine on Tuesday announced his office has filed a lawsuit against the far-right groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, alleging they conspired to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Over the course of several weeks, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, their leadership, and certain of their members and affiliates — motivated by a desire to overturn the legal results of the election and initiate a second term of Donald Trump’s presidency — worked together to plot, publicize, recruit for, and finance their planned attack,” reads the lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal reported. “The result of that planning, the January 6th Attack on the Capitol, was not a protest or a rally. It was a coordinated act of domestic terrorism.”
“As the independent attorney general, I have the responsibility to enforce our laws and hold these violent defendants accountable,” Racine said at a press briefing announcing the suit.
“The images of that shameful and contemptible day can never be erased,” he added, according to The Hill. “It was like 9-11, a planned terrorist attack, but this time, our own citizens were hellbent on destroying the freedoms and ideals on which our country was founded, and continues to aspire to achieve.”
The lawsuit requests “restitution and recompense” in the form of monetary damages from the defendants and said, “I can guarantee you that as we proceed, we are going to seek the maximum level of financial penalty.”
Joanna Lydgate, president and chief executive of the nonpartisan think tank the States United Democracy Center who was also at the press conference, added, “this case is about consequences and it’s about prevention. And while some would like to act like we can just move on from the horrors of January 6th, that would be irresponsible and dangerous.”