Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine announced Tuesday that his office is suing two right-wing groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, for their roles in the Jan. 6 riot.
Racine said that the lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages to recoup costs related to the siege, aims to "impose severe financial penalties" on the organizations and their leaders to ensure accountability, to deter similar events from happening again, and to get restitution for the victims, especially the officers who were traumatized mentally and physically from the attack.
"The Attorney General for the District of Columbia is filing the first civil lawsuit by state or municipal government to hold accountable the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and more than 30 of their leaders and members for conspiring to terrorize the District of Columbia for unlawfully interfering with our country's peaceful transition of power, and for assaulting our men and women in blue, who valiantly defended the Capitol, the district, and our freedoms," Racine said at a press conference Tuesday.
'HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS' OF NONVIOLENT TRUMP SUPPORTERS FIND VOICE IN TWO JAN. 6 COMMITTEE WITNESSES
He likened the Jan. 6 riot to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in which thousands of people were killed when hijackers overtook four planes in the northeastern United States.
"It was, like 9/11, a planned terrorist attack, but this time, our own citizens were hell-bent on destroying the freedoms and ideals on which our country was founded and continues to aspire to achieve," Racine said. "Jan. 6, to say the least, was a brazen, violent, and deadly attack that traumatized the city, this community, and our country, and importantly, no one bore the brunt of this gutless attack more than the courageous law enforcement officers."
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, States United Democracy Center CEO Joanna Lydgate, and Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen joined Racine in the announcement.
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Federal agents have arrested more than 500 people after their participation in the Jan. 6 siege, during which a swarm of rioters stormed the Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory.