Trump, Giuliani and others sued under Ku Klux Klan law

There’s a lot more to it than just what Trump said on the 6th. There’s plenty of evidence that he and his henchpeople planned and financed the event with every intention that it disrupt Congress and keep them from certifying the election. Threaten them all with prison time and one or two should spill the beans on the rest.

Little Nemo has quoted the criminal offence from the Enforcement Act. However, there were also two civil actions created.

The first action creates a civil action where the plaintiff can sue an individual, typically a government official, who is acting under colour of law to deprive the plaintiff of civil rights.

The second action creates a different civil action, where the plaintiff can sue individuals who have conspired to interfere with government operations. That second civil action doesn’t require that the defendant be a government official or relying on colour of law.

The first of those actions is now found at 42 USC 1983, and is the provision which Ruken has quoted. It is used quite frequently, when a plaintiff sues others for infringing their civil rights.

The second of these actions is now found at 42 USC 1985. The first subsection of this provision appears to be the one that Congressman Thompson is relying on. The actual right to sue is created at the end of the third subsection, but appears to apply to all three subsections (more 19th century drafting…)

The Statement of Claim is available online. It’s been brought in the District of Columbia and a jury is requested. I know people on this board have expressed concern that there will always be at least one Trumper on a jury, but I would think that if there is any place where the ratio of Trumpers to non-Trumpers is pretty low, it would be DC.

@Northern_Piper is causing injury or deprivation to our ignorance.

One does one’s poor best. :slightly_smiling_face:

And we appreciate you for it!

Their problem is that they won’t get to control what evidence is produced at the trial.

Trump and Giuliani’s lawyers will certainly produce the statements they made which can be interpreted as opposing any illegal actions. But Thompson’s lawyers will produce the statements they made which can be interpreted as inciting illegal actions. Then a jury will examine all of the evidence that both sides presented and decide who made a more convincing case. (Note that in a civil trial, the jury has to only feel the preponderance of evidence supports the defendants’ guilt in order to find them guilty.)

On a side note, this brings up the subject of Richard Nixon. A lot of people wonder why Nixon set up a taping system that recorded everything that was said in his office when he discussed so many illegal acts in that office. The answer is that Nixon thought he could keep control of the tapes and decide which portions of the recordings were released and which were withheld.

Many people noted that Nixon had what seemed like a peculiar habit of sometimes seeming to wonder off topic in discussions of illegal activities. There would be some topic that had been discussed by everyone, including Nixon, for weeks or even months. But Nixon would inexplicably ask questions about the topic as if he had never heard of it. Or Nixon would make plans and give orders to people which would include illegal acts, acknowledging their illegality and discussing how they would conceal them. But then later he would make a statement about how nobody should do anything that was illegal and how everyone should follow the law.

At the time, people wondered if these were mental lapses and worried about Nixon’s mental state. That’s because these people didn’t know about the recordings. Nixon knew exactly what he was doing.

If Nixon was ever in legal danger, he figured to protect himself with a selective release of taped evidence. For example, if he was accused of knowing about some cover-up that occurred in June, he would release the tape that recorded him asking questions about the cover-up in October as if that was the first time he had learned about it. He would withhold all the tapes that recorded him discussing the cover-up from June to October and recorded him planning out the cover-up prior to June. The same strategy applied to other tapes; he would release the tapes which had recorded him telling people to obey the law and withhold all the tapes that recorded him telling people to break laws.

This strategy fell apart when Nixon was ordered to turn over all of the tapes, which would have allowed investigators to listen both to Nixon’s conducting of illegal acts and to his occasional attempts to establish a defense.

Which, to get us back on topic, shows why you need to look at all of the evidence and not just a selected portion of it to make the best determination of what happened. Even evidence which is true can lead you to a false conclusion if you remove it from the greater context. You can’t look at one piece of evidence - like Trump saying “we will march peacefully” - and say that one piece of evidence alone justifies you forming a conclusion.

Nitpick: Nobody is found guilty in a civil trial. When the jury makes its decision, they find in favor of either the plaintiff (the party bringing the suit) or the respondent (the party being sued).

But give me credit for spelling preponderance right. And it only took me four tries.

Do you have any source for this claim? It sounds like something that some speculator dreamed up, frankly, and dubious stuff at that.

Partially because in actual fact Nixon never attempted to do this. And partially because it doesn’t seem to make sense as a scheme - Nixon would have to have been aware that revealing the existence of the taping system would set off a clamor for the rest of the tapes.

Analyses like this one seem to consider it pretty well accepted that Nixon thought he could control his taped-conversation output.

Of course, selective release of tapes was not the ultimate reason Nixon chose to do the taping in the first place, and I don’t think that’s what Little_Nemo meant. The reason that Nixon (and several previous Presidents) taped conversations was to have complete records available for use on a very confidential basis, since only a few trusted advisors knew about the taping.

But the reason Nixon was willing to maintain this practice even when a lot of the conversations being taped were highly shady was indeed that he thought he could control the selection of material released. Selected material wasn’t intended to be released in tape form, mind you: it would be described as “on the basis of notes”, which didn’t exist because Nixon didn’t want to be transcribed or have a note-taker constantly present.

Nixon never planned to make the taping system public. Its existence was revealed in testimony by Alexander Butterfield at the Watergate hearings in June 1973. It was a major breakthrough in the scandal. Nixon originally refused to provide the tapes but was subpoenaed and forced to.

Really? Because when I read about it, I thought that sounded very plausible. It’s exactly the kind of thing I can imagine Richard Nixon doing.

If you want details, I recommend Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990 by Stephen Ambrose. It’s the third volume in Ambrose’s biography of Nixon and because of the period it covers, Watergate is the center of this volume.

And it was quite a shock when the taping system was revealed too. I remember hearing that bit of testimony on the news – when Butterfield off-handedly mentioned the taping system (oops!), a very audible gasp arose in the room.

I have read that Nixon, who loved history, wanted to have an extensive record of his administration when he got around to writing his memoirs. He was also technologically challenged, John Dean said, and may have been recording even when he didn’t really want to.

I think I’ve found an early case where the KKK law was used. It’s referenced in an article on today’s Wikipedia front page:

Dinning was a freed slave who had his own farm in Kentucky. A mob came to his farm one night, accused him of stealing livestock, and demanded he leave the county in 10 days. They shot at him, wounding him twice. He returned fire, killing one.

He was convicted of manslaughter but pardoned by the state governor. While he was in jail, another mob burnt his farm.

He relocated to Indiana, but successfully sued members of the mob for damages:

( Elendil’s Heir, I assume you’ll recognise Bennett H. Young ! )

What you’re saying is not the same thing as what Little Nemo was saying, and what I was responding to. He said very clearly that Nixon planned to release the actual tapes if he was ever in legal danger, to the point that Nixon made statements in conversations which made no sense to anyone in the room but only made sense in that he intended to release tapes of himself saying them so as to give a misleading impression of what he knew at the time.

Yes, that’s what I said and I stand by it.

I’m not saying this is the only reason Nixon recorded the conversations in his office. It may not even have been the primary reason. And it was also not Nixon’s primary plans for protecting himself. His primary plan was to not get caught.

But he did make statements during his conversations for the purpose of putting fraudulent evidence on record so that if he ever needed to, he would be able to release those recordings as evidence of his innocence in crimes he was involved in.

I do indeed, thanks! Nice to see his commitment to the rule of law overrode his former Confederate loyalties. Sadly uncommon in Southerners of that era.