Rep. Eric Swalwell sued former President Donald Trump on Friday for emotional distress following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, seeking financial damages.
The California Democrat claimed in a 65-page complaint that the 45th president was responsible for inciting the assault and was negligent in his official duties as president to prevent and stop the deadly protest.
Mr. Trump’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks, Alabama Republican, are also listed as defendants. The lawsuit noted they spoke alongside Mr. Trump on Jan. 6 before the Trump supporters broke into the Capitol during a joint-session of Congress to halt the certification of the 2020 election results.
“In claiming for weeks that President Biden’s victory was in fact the largest act of fraud in American history; in seeing that some of Trump’s supporters were willing to engage in violence in response to such claims; and in using highly inflammatory language in repeating the false claims of fraud at the rally before sending the crowd to the Capitol, the Defendants at a minimum acted negligently,” read the complaint.
Mr. Brooks called the lawsuit frivolous.
“I make no apologies whatsoever for fighting for accurate and honest elections. In sum, I wear Communist-sympathizer Swalwell’s scurrilous and malicious lawsuit like a badge of courage,” Mr. Brooks said. “Under no circumstances will Swalwell, or any other Socialist, stop me from fighting for America.”
Mr. Swalwell, who served as an impeachment manager prosecuting Mr. Trump for inciting an insurrection in the Senate, requested money damages and a jury trial.
Mr. Trump was ultimately acquitted of the charge of inciting an insurrection by the Senate on Feb. 13.
The House had impeached him for a second time without holding hearings on Jan. 13, one week before his term came to an end.
Mr. Swalwell came under scrutiny in December of 2020 with GOP lawmakers calling for him to be removed from the House Intelligence Committee following a news report that he had a friendly relationship with a Chinese spy. Mr. Swalwell has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the woman.
Similarly, Jason Miller, senior adviser to the former president, criticized Mr. Swalwell’s integrity.
“Eric Swalwell is a low-life with no credibility who got caught ‘dating’ the Chinese spy Fang-Fang and makes disgusting bodily noises on national television. Now, after failing miserably with two impeachment hoaxes, ‘Mr. Fang-Fang’ is doing the bidding of his Chinese masters and attacking our greatest President with yet another witch hunt. It’s a disgrace that a compromised Member of Congress like Swalwell still sits on the House Intelligence Committee,” Mr. Miller said.
• Alex Swoyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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