The NAACP filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former President Donald Trump, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and two activist groups, alleging the defendants "conspired to incite" the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building in order to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
The two groups named are the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. The NAACP and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll filed the suit on behalf of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who is House Homeland Security chairman.
The suit alleges that defendants violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act. The act empowered President Ulysses S. Grant to act against and use martial law to control terrorist organizations such as the KKK, which rose up following the Civil War and attempted to prevent African Americans who had recently been emancipated from coming to political power.
More specifically, the suit states, Section 1985(1) of the act "was intended to protect against conspiracies, through violence and intimidation, that sought to prevent Members of Congress from discharging their official duties."
"The insurrection and coup attempt was really motivated by white supremacist behavior and domestic terrorists," NAACP president Derrick Johnson said. "The NAACP thinks it's important for us to pursue a course of action on behalf of members of Congress."
Johnson also said that the purpose of the incursion into the U.S. Capitol was "to prevent the certification of the election and invalidate African American votes."