IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

D.C. attorney general sues Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan. 6 attack

The civil suit, which the attorney general said is the first such state or municipal action against the groups, charges that they "conspired to commit acts of violence."

Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking damages from the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, charging that the far-right groups conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election in a "coordinated act of domestic terrorism."

The groups and their leaders allegedly "worked together to plot, publicize, recruit for, and finance their planned attack" over a period of several weeks in an effort to initiate a second term of Donald Trump’s presidency, the lawsuit filed in District of Columbia federal court says.

The groups caused "actual physical financial harm to our city, its employees and our residents" and need to be held accountable, Racine alleged in a news conference announcing the action.

"They were vigilantes, members of a mob, insurrectionists who sought to crush our country's freedoms," he told reporters.

The lawsuit includes detailed allegations on the actions of members of the groups leading up to and including on the day of the riot. It seeks monetary damages for injuries to police officers and property and other costs relating to the deadly riot. Racine said he plans to collect "every penny" he can from the groups.

"If it so happens we bankrupt them, that's a good day," he said.

Both groups have previously been sued by lawmakers and Capitol Police officers over the Jan. 6 riot. Racine said his civil action was the first such lawsuit by a state or municipal government agency.

Like the earlier lawsuits, some of which blamed additional defendants for the violence, Racine's action says the groups violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which allows for civil lawsuits for monetary damages against those who seek to interfere with government proceedings or deprive people of their rights.

Racine's suit also names more than 30 members of the groups, almost all of whom have been charged criminally for taking part in the riot. Two have pleaded guilty.