Proud Boys calling Rep. Bennie Thompson’s phone over Capitol riot lawsuit

EXCLUSIVE: Mississippi congressman Thompson says his civil suit invoking the KKK Act is a direct response to Republicans' 'political decision' to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial

A member of the Proud Boys has been ringing Rep. Bennie Thompson’s phone wanting a conversation with him since the Mississippi congressman filed a lawsuit against the white nationalist group. The suit also names former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and the militia group, the Oath Keepers, as defendants.

The civil suit, backed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is in direct response to the Jan. 6 deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building. As of last Friday, Congressman Thompson had not answered the calls from the white supremacists.  

Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’, on Capitol Hill Washington. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Read More: Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson sues Trump over role in Capitol riot

Congressman Thompson, a plaintiff in the case, says the call came into one of his local offices in Mississippi. “He [Proud Boy member] wanted to talk to me before the lawyers started talking. Obviously, I am not going to talk to him because the suit is filed,” Thompson exclusively told theGrio.

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, is seen at a “Stop the Steal” rally against the results of the U.S. Presidential election outside the Georgia State Capitol on November 18, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Thompson’s suit is using an anti-Klan law that dates back to the 1800s. The Civil Rights Act of 1871, better known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, was meant to protect congressional leaders from from Klan intimidation in the south after the Civil War.

The lawsuit claims Trump and Giuliani, his personal lawyer, conspired with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers to create the deadly and historic event in which an angry, mostly white male mob broke into the Capitol, attacked U.S. Capitol police officers, killing one officer and four civilians. More than 100 other officers suffered injuries.

Read More: Proud Boys may have sought revenge against police at Capitol siege: report

Congressman Thompson says the evidence is clear that congressional leaders were intimidated on Jan. 6 as they assembled to certify the Electoral College votes that declared Joe Biden the 46th president of the United States.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

As the mob stormed the Capitol, U.S. Senators and House members, fearing for their lives, were videotaped praying for supernatural intervention, running through the halls with police escorts to safety, and having to put on gas masks because the Trump rioters had used bear spray as they rushed the Hill with intent to destroy and kill people.   

The domestic terrorists were angry over the results of the 2020 presidential election in which Donald Trump lost the popular vote and the Electoral College. Rather than concede the race, Trump falsely claimed there was fraud in the voting process. However, there is no evidence of fraud in the election as 60 lawsuits filed on behalf of Trump were denied by the courts.

The Thompson civil suit is meant to establish accountability and hit the defendants where it hurts — the pocketbook — in efforts to prevent violent incidents like this from happening again. 

NAACP President Derrick Johnson tells theGrio that he thinks his organization and Thompson are “going in the right direction.” No trial schedule has been set, however, a D.C. federal judge was just assigned to the case last week.

NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson addresses the 110th NAACP National Convention in Detroit on July 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

“Anytime you leave domestic terrorists unaccountable you can be assured there will be more domestic terrorism,” Johnson tells theGrio.

Thompson, a lifetime member of the NAACP, says he is not looking for anything for himself but feels, “we have to stop this expansion of domestic right-wing terrorists that are growing in this country.”  

Thompson also serves as the head of the House Homeland Security Committee and reminds people that, “the FBI has testified before my committee that the single greatest threat to this country is the growth of right wing domestic terrorism.”

The lawsuit is a direct result of what Thompson calls the Senate’s inaction to convict Donald Trump during the second phase of the impeachment process. Thompson says the acquittal was “a political decision.” 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!