CNN legal analyst Anne Milgram predicted that former president Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani would be tied up for years in court over their roles in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.
The NAACP and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) sued the former president, his personal attorney and allied groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers under the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan Act alleging they conspired to violently interfere with the electoral certification.
"What's really interesting is they're using the statute from 1871 that is really almost barely been used and saying this is foreseeable, and what the president and Giuliani did was they took a series of actions that were intended to interfere with Congress and incite a riot," Milgram said. "It's interesting in part because Bennie Thompson, he's a victim. He was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, as were other members of Congress, so they're saying former President Trump interfered with their ability to do their duty."
Trump's attorneys will likely argue that he was acting in his official capacity as president, but Milgram said the lawsuit alleges that his actions violate his oath of office.
"It already started to take that on and say that this is not what the president of the United States would do, this is contrary to your oath and look at all of the words and statements that both you and Rudy Giuliani made that were essentially encouraging and encouraging violence or at least an end to the electors being able certify the valid election, so that is a piece of this. That's a legal fight."
Milgram doesn't think the case will be resolved anytime soon, and she said the lawsuit could dig up damning new evidence.
"Some discovery will be needed," she said. "I think that you'll start to have questions about what did Donald Trump do? Again, he was both president and running for re-election, so he's sort of wearing two hats, and I think being in a deposition means Donald Trump needs to hire lawyers, Rudy Giuliani needs to hire lawyers, and this could go on for years as this sort of legal process plays out."
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