New defendants added to Capitol riots lawsuit after new information surfaces

Members of The Proud Boys and The Oath Keepers are among those added to the January 6 insurrection lawsuit.

 A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, January 6, 2021.  (photo credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)
A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, January 6, 2021.
(photo credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)

More defendants were added to the lawsuit against the January 6 insurrectionists on Friday after new factual information emerged following the investigation of criminal cases related to the insurrection at the US Capitol.

The move was made by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); District of Columbia Attorney-General Karl Racine; the States United Democracy Center; Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Dechert LLP. The charges against them include harming the district, democracy in the US and law enforcement officers.

“We filed this lawsuit to hold groups and individuals that conspired to attack the Capitol, assault our law enforcement officers and terrorize our community accountable for their brutal and dangerous actions on January 6,” Racine said.

“We said that we would consider adding more defendants as we uncovered additional evidence" and "today, we’re doing exactly that. Over the last few months, we have learned more about the horrors of January 6 – including more about how the leaders of the two groups behind the attack urged members to use violence to overturn the outcome of a lawful presidential election," he said.

"We are focused on using the law to the maximum extent possible to impose financial liability on those who planned and participated in the assault, and believe doing so will deter future illegal attacks.”

 PRO-TRUMP PROTESTERS storm the US Capitol during clashes with police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by Congress in Washington on January 6, 2021. (credit: SHANNON STAPLETON/ REUTERS) PRO-TRUMP PROTESTERS storm the US Capitol during clashes with police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by Congress in Washington on January 6, 2021. (credit: SHANNON STAPLETON/ REUTERS)

The two groups in question are the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, which were the main perpetrators that planned and carried out the insurrection. Racine originally filed a lawsuit against these two groups and some of their members in December.

The new defendants added on Friday are Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and members Edward Vallejo, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel and Brian Ulrich, as well as Matthew Greene of the Proud Boys, who is the first member to plead guilty to charges related to the riot.

“This amended complaint sends a clear message there will be serious consequences for those who helped to fuel the January 6 insurrection,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

“As more evidence has come to light, we are delivering on our promise to name names and hold accountable those responsible for conspiring to commit acts of violence and attack the United States Capitol that day. And we will continue to use the courts to demand justice for the district and those harmed by these coordinated acts of domestic terrorism.”

“The lies and conspiracy theories about our elections that fueled the January 6 attack continue to this day. If we want to prevent future assaults on our democracy, we need accountability for the District and its law enforcement officers,” according to Joanna Lydgate, States United Democracy Center CEO and former chief deputy attorney-general of Massachusetts. 

“Thanks to the leadership of Attorney General Racine and his team, this case sends the message loud and clear: We will not tolerate violence, or any effort to overturn the will of American voters.”

Among those already found guilty for their roles in the riot are the founder of the Cowboys for Trump group Robert Keith Parker, who attended the riot wearing a sweatshirt with the slogan "Camp Auschwitz."