Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

IFA Charlottesville Lawsuit Utilizes Same Statute to Hold Accountable Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists Responsible for 2017 Violence; Trial is this October 

Today, Congressman Bennie Thompson and the NAACP filed a new lawsuit against former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers that alleges a conspiracy to interfere with congressional certification of the 2020 election – in violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act, which is the central statute in the lawsuit backed by IFA against the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and hate groups responsible for the 2017 Charlottesville violence. Trial in IFA’s lawsuit is scheduled for this October in federal court in Charlottesville.

IFA Executive Director Amy Spitalnick released the following statement:

“Exactly 150 years after it became law, the Ku Klux Klan Act is newly relevant – a sad testament to the alarming rise in violent white supremacy and far-right extremism.

The lawsuit filed today by Rep. Thompson and the NAACP uses the same statute that’s central to our case against the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and hate groups responsible for the Charlottesville violence. The Thompson suit uses Section One of the KKK Act, regarding conspiracies to prevent an officer from performing duties; our Charlottesville suit uses Section Three, regarding conspiracies to deprive people of their rights.

First passed in the aftermath of the Civil War to deal with a wave of violent attacks by Klansmen and other extremists, the KKK Act provides a key legal remedy to deal with private conspiracies to undermine and interfere with civil rights.

Our lawsuit goes to trial this October in federal court in Charlottesville – with the potential to bankrupt and dismantle the leaders and hate groups central to this violent movement. We’ve already seen the power of accountability, with defendants like Richard Spencer complaining that our suit has been ‘financially crippling’ and hate groups like League of the South highlighting its impact on their operations.

At a moment when accountability has been sorely lacking, we’ve seen the power of civil lawsuits to have major financial, legal, and operational impacts on these violent extremists. We hope that our case can be a model for taking on these violent conspiracies – part of the much broader accountability and justice that is desperately needed at this critical moment in the fight against extremism.”

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Integrity First for America (IFA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to holding those accountable who threaten longstanding principles of our democracy—including our country's commitment to civil rights and equal justice. IFA is backing the landmark federal lawsuit against the two dozen neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and hate groups responsible for the August 2017 violence in Charlottesville. To learn more about the case, click here.

10,000 Voices for Charlottesville

Our lawsuit against the Nazis and white supremacists who attacked Charlottesville is headed to trial — and our plaintiffs need to know we have their backs.