Proud Boys and Oath Keepers sued over January 6 Capitol attack

The first civil lawsuit alleges group members 'worked together to plot, publicise, recruit for and finance their planned attack'

Clashes occur during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

The District of Columbia has opened a lawsuit against the right-wing groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers for their reported involvement in the attack on US Capitol on January 6, when a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The complaint filed on Tuesday by Washington Attorney General Karl Racine alleges the “would-be insurgents” and their leaders “worked together to plot, publicise, recruit for and finance their planned attack".

“The result of that planning, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, was not a protest or a rally,” Mr Racine said in the complaint. “It was a co-ordinated act of domestic terrorism.”

The suit seeks to claim financial damages from the groups and their leaders, claiming their actions left the Capitol “in shambles” on a day that should have seen a peaceful transition of power.

Mr Racine told reporters the accused had caused physical and financial harm to Washington and its residents, and that the city will seek “severe” financial penalties against them.

The lawsuit seeks to recover the costs of sending out hundreds of city police officers to defend the Capitol against the attack as well as medical and paid-leave costs incurred afterwards.

It also brings civil assault and battery charges against the two organisations along with 30 named and 50 unnamed people that it says were involved in the assault.

About 700 people have been charged in connection with the assault on the Capitol, including members of the two groups.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: December 14, 2021, 6:31 PM