NAACP Joins Suit Targeting Trump’s Election Reversal Efforts, Noting Focus On Black Voters

US President Donald Trump speaks after his introduction by RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel at a fundraising breakfast in a restaurant in New York, New York on December 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (... US President Donald Trump speaks after his introduction by RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel at a fundraising breakfast in a restaurant in New York, New York on December 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 22, 2020 11:42 a.m.

A lawsuit filed last month alleging that President Trump and his campaign violated the Voting Rights Act in their efforts to overturn the election has been expanded to include the Republican National Committee as a defendant.

The amended complaint, filed Monday, also added the NAACP to the list of plaintiffs, which initially included three individual Black voters in Detroit and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.

In addition to the alleged Voting Rights Act violation, the amended complaint is accusing the Trump campaign and the RNC of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act.

“Under the specter of preventing ‘fraud,’ Defendants engaged in a conspiracy, executed through a coordinated effort, to disenfranchise 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 complaint said. “These systematic efforts – violations of the VRA and the Ku Klux Klan Act – have largely been directed at major metropolitan areas with large Black voter populations. These include Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and others. Defendants have not directed these efforts at predominantly white areas.”

The lawsuit lays out a sweeping summary of the post-election chaos egged on by President Trump and his allies. It claims that the Trump-world messaging claiming the election was “rigged” or “stolen” from the president “encouraged” Trump campaign “volunteers and supporters to interfere with vote counts through harassment and intimidation.” It cites numerous gambits in several battleground states to try to stave off Trump’s defeat, and alleges that many of those efforts were targeted at disenfranchising Black voters specifically.

The lawsuit claims that the RNC promoted these efforts, via its official social media accounts and the accounts of its leaders.

In addition to asking for a finding that this conduct violated federal voting rights protections, the challengers are asking for a court order requiring that defendants get the court’s permission before “engaging in any activities related to recounts, certifications, or similar post-election activities.”

Last month, the case was assigned U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, of the District of Columbia. He also has presided over the Michael Flynn case and the lawsuit challenging changes at the U.S. Postal Service that allegedly hampered mail voting.

Read the amended complaint below:

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