An attorney for former president Donald Trump claimed in a 49-page memo on Tuesday, May 25, that Congresswoman Maxine Waters previously has made more harmful comments — in an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the 45th president and others are responsible for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In a Tuesday filing with the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, Jesse Binnall, an attorney for Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr., asked a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit brought against him by Rep. Eric Swalwell.
The suit alleges that Trump, Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani set the siege in motion through “violence-laced calls for immediate action.”
Binnall wrote in the memo, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters was far more culpable for inciting violence when she encouraged people to harass Trump Administration appointees, and when she recently encouraged rioters to ‘get more confrontational‘ if her favored verdict was not returned in the State v. Chauvin case in Minnesota.”
In 2018, amid Trump’s controversial immigration policies that resulted in families being separated at the border, Waters said, “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up, and if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd.” Her comments were interpreted by some as encouraging people to harass members of the administration.
Then, before the jury convicted Derek Chauvin for murdering Georg Floyd, Waters spoke to a crowd after the shooting of Daunte Wright, encouraging them to “get more confrontational” if a guilty verdict in the Chauvin case was not returned.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice,” Waters said.
“We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she added.
In addition to pointing the finger at Waters in the memo, Binnall accused Swalwell of infringing on Trump’s First Amendment Rights, claiming the president is permitted to advocate for or against congressional action.
“It is well recognized that rousing and controversial speeches are a key function of the presidency,” Binnall wrote. “That is especially true when, as is the case here, the president is advocating for or against congressional action.”
Binnall also accused Swalwell of trying to “entangle Mr. Trump in a conspiracy by weaving his own conspiracy theory based on political speech taken out of context and actions of independent individuals with whom Mr. Trump never had contact.”
After Trump spoke at a rally near the White House on Jan. 6, some of his supporters stormed the Capitol in a siege that left five people dead. According to a suit filed by Swalwell, Trump incited the attack through remarks and tweets leading up to the siege that pushed the false narrative that the election had been stolen.
Finally, Binnall argued that the impeachment proceedings from Congress preclude further action from being taken against Trump.
“A trial already occurred on Representative Swalwell’s allegations. The Senate acquitted former President Trump,” the former president’s legal team argued. “Undoubtedly, plaintiff was disappointed with that result, but it does not give him a second bite at the apple to relitigate the issues here.”
Waters has not publicly responded to the allegations in the memo.