Headshot of Attorney General Karl Racine
Attorney General Karl Racine Credit: Darrow Montgomery/file

We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The District of Columbia is suing the Capitol insurrectionists.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Tuesday that his office is filing a civil lawsuit against far-right groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for their roles in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Under the shadow of the Capitol, Racine said the lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that the two groups and more than 30 members of their leadership conspired “to terrorize the District of Columbia, for unlawfully interfering with our country’s peaceful transition of power, and for assaulting our men and women in blue, valiantly defended the Capitol, the District, and our freedoms.” Many of the perpetrators are already facing criminal charges, and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are already facing similar civil suits. Racine’s is the first filed by a government agency.

“January 6 was, to say the least, a brazen, violent, and deadly attack that traumatized this city, this community and our country,” Racine said. ”District of Columbia and its residents have chosen to speak truth through this filing.”

Racine was flanked by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen. Norton was adamant about D.C. getting compensation for the costs associated with the insurrection. As former President Donald Trump withheld the National Guard for much of the attack, Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department were forced to defend the Capitol. The costs aren’t all financial, as many of the officers who responded are traumatized by the mob threatening to kill them. Four officers who responded that day have since died by suicide.

“From damage to police property to medical expenses related to the attack, perpetrators including Proud Boys and Oath Keepers must pay the District of Columbia,” Norton said.

Racine is bringing the suit under a modern version of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was passed after the Civil War to protect the civil rights of Black people and was used to recoup $26 million from organizers of the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally in 2017. Racine said they intend to use the law to bring as much “financial pain” on the groups as possible and potentially eliminate them entirely.

“If it so happens that we bankrupt them, then that’s a good day when hate is dispatched and eliminated,” he said. “They go running, they go hiding. They get decentralized, and frankly, they’re less dangerous.”

Norton added that the lawsuit will be used to recoup costs for D.C. but could also act as a deterrent for future violence.

“They’re going to have to spend money to defend themselves,” Norton said. “Even if we don’t get a penny in restitution, this lawsuit’s deterrent effect will say, ‘Be prepared to spend money to defend yourself because we are coming after you.’”

Bailey Vogt (tips? bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Two runaway Maryland zebras—part of a months-long saga involving a high-profile search and criminal animal cruelty charges—have been caught. [Post]
  • A Lyft driver was shot and carjacked in Southeast D.C. last night amid a rise of carjackings in the DMV. [WUSA9]
  • Residents of a Mount Pleasant building seek an extension to make their case in a long dispute over preserving their balconies and affordable housing. [DCist]

By Ambar Castillo and Bailey Vogt (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com and bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser releases Council-mandated plan to break up DCRA. [Twitter]
  • D.C. can’t build bike lanes fast enough. [Axios]
  • DMPED wants to turn downtown office space into housing. [DCist]

By Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Five at-home meal subscriptions from D.C. restaurants to get or give. [WCP]
  • A Real Housewife bailed on her big tab at Le Diplomate. [NY Mag]
  • Liquor stores warn of low Champagne and bourbon stocks. [Washingtonian]
  • El Rey expands to Ballston. [DC Eater]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

City Lights: Goodbye, Vienna Drops First EP

Picture Weezer going to a jazz club with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and you’ve got Goodbye, […]

  • Virginia-native Alexander Nate prepares for his EP release later this month with a show at Byrdland Records. [Post
  • The Washingtonian Guild heads to the bargaining table today for the first round of contract negotiations. [Twitter]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • A proposed ownership group led by retail executive Jennifer Tepper Mackesy and L.A. Lakers, Sparks, and Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly has entered into “exclusive” negotiations to buy controlling interest in the reigning NWSL champions Washington Spirit. [DCist, Sports Business Journal
  • The Washington Football Team added cornerback Kendall Fuller and defensive tackle Tim Settle to the reserve/COVID-19 list. [NBC Sports Washington
  • The Post’s annual All-Met honors recognizing the best high school athletes in the region is back after a nearly year-long hiatus due to the pandemic. [Post]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to newsletter@washingtoncitypaper.com.