D.C. AG Racine Names Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes and Others as New Defendants in Lawsuit Seeking to Hold January 6 Insurrectionists Accountable for Damage to the District, Law Enforcement, and Our Democracy

4.1.2022

Washington, D.C. — District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine today filed an amended complaint naming additional defendants, including Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, to his lawsuit seeking accountability for the plotting, planning, and carrying out of the deadly January 6, 2021 attack and for violating federal and District laws. The States United Democracy Center; ADL (the Anti-Defamation League); Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Dechert LLP are serving as pro bono outside counsel in the case.

In addition to Rhodes, the amended complaint names as defendants the following individuals: Matthew Greene, the first member of the Proud Boys to plead guilty to charges related to the conspiracy, and other alleged members of the Oath Keepers, including Edward Vallejo, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel, and Brian Ulrich. The amended complaint reflects new factual information that has emerged through criminal cases related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and other newly released public information. The full list of defendants is available here

The civil lawsuit, which was filed in December 2021 and now includes more than three dozen individual defendants, is the first and only by a government entity against the January 6 insurrectionists. It seeks to hold the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and their leaders, members, and affiliates accountable for the January 6 attack and specifically claims that these groups and individuals caused extensive damage to the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who risked their lives to defend the Capitol and our democracy.

“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,” said D.C. Attorney General Racine. “We said that we would consider adding more defendants as we uncovered additional evidence. 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. We are seeking justice for the District, our democracy, and the brave law enforcement officers who risked their lives that day. 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 that doing so will deter future illegal attacks.”

“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,” said Joanna Lydgate, CEO of the States United Democracy Center 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.”

“Political violence has no place in our democracy. The Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and their leaders and members should face serious financial and legal consequences for their plot to violently disrupt the counting of the electoral votes on January 6,” said Katie Reisner, Senior Counsel at the States United Democracy Center. “This case is about seeking justice for the District of Columbia and the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to stop the violent attack. We are also sending a clear message, both to these defendants and to any would-be perpetrators of political violence: You are not above the law.”

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

Visit our website to read a summary of the lawsuit and review the amended complaint.

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About the States United Democracy Center

The States United Democracy Center is a nonpartisan organization advancing free, fair, and secure elections. We focus on connecting state officials, law enforcement leaders, and pro-democracy partners across America with the tools and expertise they need to safeguard our democracy. For more information, visit https://statesuniteddemocracy.org/.