A week ago, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) filed a civil suit against former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
“The new lawsuit filed on Friday by Swalwell, a California Democrat who helped to lead impeachment arguments against Trump for inciting insurrection, follows a similar suit filed last month by Rep. Bennie Thompson against Trump, Giuliani and the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Swalwell’s case makes some of the same claims as Thompson’s — citing a civil rights law meant to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of elected officials.
“But it also alleges Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks broke Washington, DC, laws, including an anti-terrorism act, by inciting the riot, and that they aided and abetted violent rioters and inflicted emotional distress on the members of Congress.”
No matter what the result of the two lawsuits turns out to be, it will mean that Trump has to testify under oath regarding what role he may have played, which could leave him open to perjury charges, according to former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance.
Vance appeared on MSNBC Saturday morning and said that legal action may allow Americans to find out what actually transpired on Jan.6:
“These civil cases are a very interesting aspect of the search for accountability. We’ve seen the flawed impeachment procedure, which failed to hold him accountable despite evidence. We’re looking at the criminal process and criminal investigations ongoing, too early to conclude whether that would ultimately reach former President Trump and his inner circle. These civil cases are a direct and potentially more quick route for the American people to gain the truth.”
Depositions, Vance added, should be especially interesting:
“Representative [Eric] Swalwell’s complaint is particularly interesting because it raises claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act, which talks about interference with Congress’ performance of official duties, and files suit in his individual capacity, arguing interference and interference with his well-being and the well-being of others,” said Vance. “Only one of the claims in this complaint have to survive a motion to dismiss, an early preliminary motion that the defendants will file in order to begin the discovery process, and that’s part of the legal proceedings in the civil case where a litigant like Representative Swalwell has the ability to take depositions to ask for documents where there’s actually an obligation that the defendants respond under oath.”
Even if the lawsuits don’t succeed in finding Trump guilty, they could help all of us better understand the connection between the former president and the crowds that stormed the Capitol:
“This could get interesting relatively quickly. It’s too early, I think, to assess whether the suit has a chance of success on the merits.”
Think about Donald Trump giving a deposition and testifying under oath. As much as he lies, the failed one-term president could walk right into a perjury charge in a matter of seconds.
Here’s Joyce Vance on MSNBC: