Former staff members of President Joe Biden campaign have sued the “Trump train” convoy that allegedly almost forced their bus off the highway when traveling through Texas.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday on behalf of former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, White House staffer David Gins, former Biden campaign volunteer Eric Cervini, and the bus driver of the Biden campaign bus, Timothy Holloway.
Those targeted in the lawsuit were accused of harassing and following the campaign bus while it drove through Texas.
The plaintiffs said supporters of Donald Trump on the convoy “terrorised and menaced the driver and passengers on the Biden-Harris Campaign’s bus,” causing the bus to drive slowly on a major highway while also swerving in front of the vehicle.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the “Trump train” supporters violated the Ku Klux Klan act of 1871 and Texas law by taking part in a “politically-motivated conspiracy to disrupt the campaign and intimidate its supporters”.
“They played a madcap game of highway ‘chicken,’ coming within three to four inches of the bus,” the lawsuit alleges. “They tried to run the bus off the road.”
Seven defendants were named in the lawsuit as Eliazar Cisneros, Hannah Ceh, Joeylynn Mesaros, Robert Mesaros, Dolores Park, and a Jane and John Doe.
Additionally, a second lawsuit targeted law enforcement for allegedly not assisting during the incident, which took place in October 2020.
The plaintiffs claimed members of law enforcement “turned a blind eye to the attack — despite pleas for help — and failed to provide the bus a police escort.” This lawsuit was filed against Chase Stapp, the head of San Marcos’ director of public safety, and the San Marcos City Marshal’s Department.
In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs asked for compensatory and punitive damages, while also called for the defendants to cover their legal fees.
“What Defendants cannot do under the law is use force, intimidation, or threats against those with whom they disagree politically. Yet that is precisely what Defendants did by conspiring to use their vehicles as weapons to interfere with the constitutional rights of those who supported the Biden-Harris Campaign,” the lawsuit states. “The Constitution’s guarantee of free speech, association, and assembly is empty if those rights cannot be freely exercised. And where groups are permitted to terrorize those with whom they disagree into forgoing their constitutional rights, the functioning of our democracy demands accountability.”
Video footage from the incident showed a Biden campaign bus being surrounded by a “Trump train” of vehicles that were brandishing flags and other memorabilia related to Mr Trump and his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Mr Trump shared a video on Twitter of the incident at the time and called the people involved “great patriots”.
Organisers for the Biden campaign were forced to cancel an event over “safety concerns” following the incident.