Lawsuit accuses Trump, Republican National Committee of violating so-called Ku Klux Klan Act


By OLIVIA RUBIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A new claim filed in federal court on Tuesday accuses President Donald Trump, his campaign, and the Republican National Committee of violating the so-called “Ku Klux Klan Act” in their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.The new complaint alleges that they engaged in a “coordinated effort” to disenfranchise Black voters by “disrupting vote counting efforts, lodging groundless challenges during recounts, and attempting to block certification of election results through intimidation and coercion of election officials and volunteers.”The Third Enforcement Act, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, was passed in 1971 to enforce the right to vote and prohibit people from conspiring to deny people their right to vote.Tuesday’s amended complaint updates a lawsuit filed last month against Trump in his personal capacity by a group of Black voters in Detroit, alleging the targeted effort to overturn the election repeats one of the “worst abuses in our nation’s history” by attempting to disenfranchise African American voters. The suit had alleged Trump violated the Voting Rights Act.The RNC has now been added as a defendant, and the NAACP has officially signed on as a plaintiff.The original suit, filed in D.C. federal court, primarily focused on Trump’s actions in Detroit, but this new complaint alleges a much broader national scheme, detailing efforts by Trump and the RNC in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and elsewhere to change the outcome of the election.”Defendants’ efforts to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters — targeting cities with large Black populations, including Detroit, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlanta, Georgia — repeat the worst abuses in our nation’s history,” the complaint states.The president and his allies have for weeks been pushing allegations of widespread voting fraud — a baseless claim for which they have produced no meaningful evidence. The complaint presents many of those claims, which include tweets and public statements, as evidence of the effort to throw out votes in minority communities.”By targeting communities of color with false claims of voter fraud, and by coordinating actions to pressure state and local officials to discard votes cast in cities with large Black populations, President Trump, his campaign, and the RNC, have undermined our most sacred constitutional values,” said Sam Spital, director of litigation for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, in a statement Tuesday. “With this suit, we seek to vindicate our clients’ rights and prevent future attacks on the fabric of our democracy.”Trump’s attorneys and the RNC will have about 21 days to file their responses to this new complaint, Spital told ABC News.A lawyer for President Trump, his campaign, and the RNC did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.Last month, after the initial lawsuit was filed, a Trump campaign legal adviser said, “Every American deserves to know that our elections are conducted in a legal manner, no matter who they are or where they live. That’s our only goal: to ensure safe, secure, and fair elections. That’s what our Constitution requires.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.