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D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) announced Tuesday that he has filed a lawsuit against the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: Racine said the lawsuit is the first to be filed "by a state or municipal government to hold accountable the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and more than 30 of their leaders and members for conspiring to terrorize the District of Columbia and for unlawfully interfering with our country’s peaceful transition of power."

State of play: Racine is seeking to use a law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 — which he says was enacted after the Civil War to "protect our country against violent conspiracies" — against the groups, which he believes are responsible for the Capitol riot.

  • "We’re using the Ku Klux Klan Act and other laws to absolutely bring as much financial pain … as possible," Racine said.

What he's saying: "Jan. 6 was, to say the least, a brazen, violent and deadly attack that traumatized this city, this community and our country," Racine said.

  • "We specifically allege that these vigilantes, insurrectionists and masters of a lawless mob conspired against the District of Columbia, its law enforcement officers and residents by planning, promoting and participating in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol," he added.
  • "When ... these groups are celebrated, told to 'stand back and stand by' ... that means they are empowered. And so this is about disempowering hate that would take your freedom away."

Details: "Following the 2020 Presidential Election, two organizations — the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers — through and with their leadership and certain members and affiliates, conspired to commit acts of violence and attack the United States Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 ... with the express purpose of preventing members of Congress and then Vice President Michael Pence from discharging their official constitutional duties and declaring Joseph Biden the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election," the lawsuit says.

  • The groups "worked together to plot, publicize, recruit for and finance their planned attack," the lawsuit adds.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Ku Klux Klan Act was passed after the Civil War, not during.

Read the full lawsuit:

Go deeper

Pence: "Tragic" Jan. 6 no reason to scrap filibuster

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an attempt to "overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."

Why it matters: Though the former vice president's op-ed in the Washington Post focuses on rebutting filibuster reforms, these are also the most public statements Pence has made about the post-election narrative and the attack as an effort to interfere with President Biden's victory.

Updated in 9 seconds - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.