On December 14, 2021, ADL joined as co-counsel in filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of the District of Columbia to hold two violent groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, and their leaders and key members accountable for the role they played in planning and carrying out the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Learn more about developments in this lawsuit as we work to secure democracy and combat extremism.

The lawsuit, filed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine with outside counsel support from ADL, States United Democracy Center, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP , and Dechert LLP, specifically claims these groups, through their leaders and members, caused extensive damage to the District of Columbia, and particularly to the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to defend the Capitol and our democracy that day.

This civil lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and is the first by a government entity against the January 6 insurrectionists. The detailed complaint describes how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers planned, recruited, publicized, funded, and then carried out the attack – breaking through police barricades, forcing their way into the Capitol building, terrorizing members of Congress and their staffs, and brutally assaulting those who tried to stop them, including officers of the District’s Metropolitan Police Department. 

The suit raises claims under federal and local laws, including the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, a Reconstruction-era federal law that is designed to provide a remedy against violent conspiracies that target our democracy like the attack that unfolded on January 6.

Learn more about ADL's Secure Democracy Initiative.