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NAACP, leading Dem file civil suit against Trump, Giuliani

The suit claims that the anti-election scheme from Trump and his cohorts violated the Civil Rights Act of 1871 - commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
Image: Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Thompson (D-MS) listens as DHS Secretary Nielsen testifies on border security on Capitol Hill in Washington
The House, chaired by Bennie Thompson, D-MS, has issued a subpoena for 8chan owner, Jim Watkins to appear.Joshua Roberts / Reuters file

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered provocative remarks over the weekend, shortly after voting to acquit Donald Trump in the impeachment trial, in which the GOP senator raised the prospect of the former president facing consequences away from Capitol Hill.

"We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one," McConnell said, adding, "President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office.... He didn't get away with anything -- yet."

It's an important point, especially given the fact that Trump is already facing two ongoing criminal investigations, and that total may climb higher.

But it was McConnell's reference to civil litigation that seemed especially relevant yesterday. NBC News reported:

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the NAACP filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, accusing them of conspiring with two extremist groups to block the presidential vote count by storming the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuit, the first over the Capitol riot to name Trump, said the attack was "the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College."

As Rachel explained on last night's show, the new lawsuit alleges that Trump and his confederates, with their efforts to block the electoral vote count, violated the Civil Rights Act of 1871 -- commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. The Reconstruction Era law is designed in part to give federal officials legal recourse against those who conspire to use violence and threats of intimidation to keep officials from fulfilling their lawful duties.

Given everything we know about the deadly insurrectionist attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, it's easy to see why the civil case was filed. As NBC News' report added, "The suit asks a judge to rule that the actions of the defendants violated federal law and seeks unspecified monetary damages."

As for the defendants, a Trump spokesperson issued a predictable written statement that read in part, "President Trump has been acquitted in the Democrats' latest Impeachment Witch Hunt, and the facts are irrefutable. President Trump did not plan, produce or organize the Jan. 6th rally on the Ellipse. President Trump did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th."

It then added some weird comments about Democrats.

Regardless, as the former president keeps his lawyers quite busy, this is a case well worth watching.