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Trump and Trump Jr hire lawyer to defend them in Capitol riot lawsuit

The Trumps have retained attorney Jesse Binnall, who has served the former president in multiple legal battles

Nathan Place
New York
Wednesday 24 March 2021 22:36 GMT
Donald Trump and his eldest son have retained a lawyer for a lawsuit from Rep. Eric Swalwell
Donald Trump and his eldest son have retained a lawyer for a lawsuit from Rep. Eric Swalwell (Getty Images)
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Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr, have hired a lawyer to defend them in a lawsuit accusing them of inciting the riot at the US Capitol.

The father and son have retained attorney Jesse Binnall, who has served Mr Trump in multiple court battles, to represent them in a civil suit brought against them by Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell, according to The Daily Beast.

That lawsuit accuses the Trumps, along with their allies Rudy Giuliani and Congressman Mo Brooks, of violating a local anti-terrorism law and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. It charges that the four men, who spoke at Mr Trump’s January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally, are responsible for the violence at the Capitol that followed.

“The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that – if actually true – might indeed justify violence, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action,” Mr Swalwell said in the lawsuit.

A similar lawsuit filed by another Democratic congressman, Bennie Thompson, charges many of the same things.

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Mr Binnall is experienced at representing Mr Trump and his allies. The Virginia attorney defended Michael Flynn, the former president’s national security advisor, when he was charged with lying to the FBI. He also represented the Trump campaign when it sued to overturn the presidential election results in Nevada, which President Joe Biden won. Later, Mr Binnall represented Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell when Dominion Voting Systems sued her for defamation.

Mr Trump’s team has been dismissive of Mr Swalwell’s lawsuit. Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the former president, told Reuters the congressman “is a low-life with no credibility”.

Five people died in the 6 January violence at the Capitol, during which rioters attacked police officers with flagpoles, chemical sprays, and other weapons. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was among the dead.

The riot followed a rally at which Mr Trump, his sons, and several of their allies voiced conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Mr Giuliani called for a “trial by combat,” and Mr Trump himself urged the audience to march to the Capitol, where Congress was certifying Mr Biden’s election victory.

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol,” the outgoing president told the crowd, “and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

The Trump Organization has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for comment on Mr Binnall’s hire.

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