The attack lasted approximately two hours and resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol police officer. The rioters, who broke windows, ransacked lawmakers’ offices, and stole documents and electronics, reportedly caused more than $2 million in damages to the 222-year-old building.
Two Capitol police officers, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, are seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages (as well as unspecified punitive damages) for injuries they say they sustained in the attack. In a court filing, Blassingame, an officer of 19 years, says he was struck in the face, head, and up and down his body by Trump supporters during the attempt to breach the Capitol building. Hemby, a former Marine, suffered “cuts and abrasions” to his face and hands. Neither officer could be immediately reached for comment.
At the onset of the suit, the plaintiff lawmakers included Democrats Eric Swalwell, Stephen Cohen, Bonnie Coleman, Veronica Escobar, Pramila Jayapal, Henry C. Johnson, Marcia Kaptur, Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler, and Maxine Waters. Karen Bass, a former congressperson and current mayor of Los Angeles, has also joined the suit. The lawmakers, including Bass, either did not respond or declined to comment.
“The Court today confirms that no one is above the law, even presidents while engaged in conduct during their presidency,” Representative Johnson says.
Bennie Thompson, the congressperson from Mississippi, says he was no longer party to the case on appeal but welcomed the court’s decision. “Donald Trump should not be able to use the presidency to shirk accountability for what he did to cause the insurrection on January 6,” he tells WIRED.
An attorney for Trump, Jesse Binnall, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.