Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman has joined nine other members of Congress in a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and others blaming them for conspiring to incite violence in the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The suit, filed in February by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., accuses Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers of conspiring to incite a violent riot and violating the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by preventing Congress from carrying out its constitutional duties.

The insurrection began after a crowd attended a "stop the steal" rally where Trump addressed the crowd and told them to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol just as Congress was voting to certify the the Electoral College vote and Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The vote was delayed as members of Congress took cover during the riot but successfully resumed in the evening.

Hundreds stormed the building, some in tactical gear, engaging in bloody combat with police. Lawmakers fled for safety. Five people died, including Capitol police officer and South River native Brian Sicknick.

Fourteen New Jersey residents have been charged for their involvement in the riot.

“I’ve joined onto this complaint as a plaintiff because the threat to the safety of both our democracy and to me individually was blatantly and violently disregarded. There must be accountability for the violent disruption of our business and personal fear that has arisen,” the Democrat from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District said in a statement.

She was sent to a small room by Capitol police and heard "shouts and menacing noises" from the rioters in the hallway.

She also tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 11 and believes she was exposed because some representatives in the room did not wear masks.

Before the riot was over, Watson Coleman called for Trump's second impeachment on her Twitter account and blamed his "actions and rhetoric."

Also part of the lawsuit are Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; Hank Johnson Jr., D-Ga.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

New Jersey residents charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot (in alphabetical order)

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