Biden marketing campaign employees and former state lawmaker are suing Trump Prepare members who had been concerned in a harmful incident on the Texas freeway

The complaint was made on behalf of White House official David Gins; former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis; former Biden Campaign Volunteer Eric Cervini; and the driver of the Biden campaign bus, Timothy Holloway. Plaintiffs, in their complaint filed in the Western District of Texas, wrote that on October 30th, Trump supporters “terrorized and threatened the driver and passengers on the Biden Harris campaign bus for at least 90 minutes” and forced the bus on slowing down a main road, crawling in front of the bus to block its way.

“They played a crazy game of Highway ‘Chicken’ that was three to ten centimeters from the bus,” the lawsuit said. “They tried to get the bus off the road,” the defendants refer to.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants – named as Eliazar Cisneros, Hannah Ceh, Joeylynn Mesaros, Robert Mesaros, Dolores Park, and Jane and John Doe – previously conspired to surround the bus in violation of Ku Klux Klan law and block. Adopted by Congress in 1871 to prohibit the obstruction of free and fair elections through coordinated intimidation of voters. Because of their actions, the campaign was forced to cancel their stops in San Marcos and Austin for fear of their safety.

CNN has reached out to the defendants in the lawsuit. None of them were charged with criminal charges in the incident

According to the complaint, Gins, Davis and Holloway were on the bus at the time, and Cervini was in his own car accompanying them. Biden and Harris weren’t on the bus that day.

The complaint also draws a line between what happened that day and the January 6 uprising in the Capitol. The complaint states that some of the people involved in planning the October 30 Trump Train incident were also in Washington on the day of the deadly uprising. The complaint also notes that members of the New Braunfels Trump Train have been identified in media reports and “participated in the January 6, 2021 uprising” on social media.

It’s not the first time Klan law has been invoked this year in connection with pre- and post-election actions by Trump supporters. Mississippi Democratic MP Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, filed a lawsuit against Trump in February accusing him of instigating the January 6 riot and violating a provision of the Ku Klux Klan Act that prohibits political violence and intimidation that could prevent federal officials from performing their constitutional duties. Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said the former president did not incite or work on riot in the Capitol.

“Surround”

The FBI opened an investigation after footage of the confrontation on the freeway, filmed by viewers and Trump Train members themselves, appeared on social media. An official familiar with the matter said the incident is still being investigated.

The same plaintiffs are suing San Marcos, Texas, law enforcement officials and employees in a separate lawsuit for alleging that they violated another section of Klan Law by failing to prevent or respond to the harassment.

Davis, who was serving as the Biden campaign run-in at the time, filmed the incident from inside the bus.

The previously unreleased footage, made exclusively available to CNN, shows several vehicles with Trump flags surrounding the Biden campaign bus, passing in front of it and braking abruptly to slow the bus as it headed for a campaign rally from San Antonio Austin drove.

The Davis shot also shows a truck with Trump flags – allegedly driven by Cisneros – wiping the side of an election employee’s SUV as they escorted the bus. “It was me who struck the f — uh … the hell,” Cisneros later posted on Facebook.

“Although I’ve been involved in many political campaigns for myself and others over the past few decades, I’ve never seen the threat or fear I felt when the ‘Trump Train’ switched our bus,” Davis told CNN. “I’m a part of this lawsuit because I fear that if we don’t stop this kind of dangerous behavior, this is about to become the new normal.”

The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from the charitable advocacy groups Protect Democracy and the Texas Civil Rights Project and law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Cameron Kistler, an attorney for Protect Democracy and one of the attorneys on the case, is also an expert on the KKK law, which he describes as “a potentially powerful weapon for trial lawyers who want to protect the integrity of federal elections”.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants began conspiring almost immediately after the Biden campaign schedule was published.

“Once the Biden Harris campaign made plans for the bus tour public, members of the Alamo City and New Braunfels Trump Trains planned to intercept and intimidate the bus as it drove through Counties Bexar, Comal, Hays and Travis in October 30” The complaint reads, referring to Facebook posts by Alamo City Trump Train members as of October 28th.

The lawsuit also points to an October 28 video that then-President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. posted on Twitter encouraging Trump Train members “to get together and go to McAllen and Kamala Harris a nice one.” Give Trump Train Welcome “. President Trump later tweeted a video of the freeway skirmish entitled “I LOVE TEXAS!”

In several cases the participants did not hide their commitment. Many of them – including one of the defendants in the lawsuit, Hannah Ceh – streamed the incident live on social media using the hashtag #operationblockthebus, as screenshots included in the lawsuit.

Another defendant, Dolores Park, streamed two live videos on Facebook, the complaint said, where she said, “This Biden bus is surrounded! As if it were seriously surrounded by Trump flags!” and “If my husband sees me like this, he’ll kill me for driving this way!”

Plaintiffs argue that in addition to violating Ku Klux Klan law, Trump Train members have “intentionally and / or knowingly” threatened plaintiffs “with imminent personal injury through aggressive, dangerous and reckless driving have committed”. Put plaintiffs and others on I-35 in physical danger. ”

The plaintiffs say they have suffered psychological damage

Gins, who now serves as assistant director of operations in the vice president’s office, volunteered ahead of January 20 to serve on the Biden Harris inaugural committee, according to the complaint. But he withdrew after the events of January 6 out of “fear about the safety aspect”, he said in a text message at the time and wrote that he was “a little traumatized” by the incident with the Biden campaign bus, according to the complaint.

“I will take the experience of those 90 minutes on I-35 with me for the rest of my life,” Gins told CNN. “Elections are partisan and can get heated, but we cannot allow violence to become part of our great democracy. If you resort to violence, the law will hold you accountable for your actions.”

Holloway said that “after a long career as a bus driver, the Biden Harris bus was the last I ever drove.”

“I am suing because my civil rights have been threatened,” he told CNN. “I don’t want other people who are just doing one job to fear for their lives just because they were hired by a political campaign. As a black man, intimidation and political violence by voters are no stranger to me. It happened throughout history. It happened in Texas. It happened on January 6th. We need our political leaders who take this threat seriously and now help to end it. I am doing my part in this lawsuit. ”

Cervini said he received “literally thousands of threatening messages” in the days following the incident.

“It made me fear for my family’s safety, especially after witnessing how aggressively the Trump train followed the Biden-Harris bus and how San Marcos law enforcement didn’t come to help,” he said.

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