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Lincoln Project demands Rudy Giuliani retract ‘fantastical’ claim that group planned Capitol riot

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Anti-Trump conservative group the Lincoln Project has threatened Rudy Giuliani with a defamation suit after he claimed the group organized the deadly Capitol riots last month in a bid to discredit the then-president.

Trump lawyer Giuliani told Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast that he believed the riots were not organized by Trump supporters, but by leftist ‘Antifa’ activists and conservative ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’.

He said: ‘One of the people who organized this is well known for having worked with the Lincoln Project in the past.’

The Lincoln Project is a political action committee formed in late 2019 by Republicans who wanted to get rid of Trump.

In a scorching letter to Giuliani released on Saturday, the group threatened legal action, writing: ‘You have until Wednesday, February 3rd to retract your statement fully and to apologize publicly to The Lincoln Project. Refuse at your peril.’

Giuliani told Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast that he believed the riots were organized by leftist ‘Antifa’ activists and conservative ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’

The theory that anti-Trump agitators stirred up the unrest has been decisively debunked. Those arrested so far for their part in the riots have in many cases a long and public history of supporting the president

The theory that anti-Trump agitators stirred up the unrest has been decisively debunked. Those arrested so far for their part in the riots have in many cases a long and public history of supporting the president

The Capitol riot unfolded after Trump staged a rally on January 6 and called on his supporters to march on the Capitol to ‘fight’ the election result and ‘persuade’ Republicans not to certify Biden’s victory.

Giuliani had also addressed the MAGA crowd before the riot, calling for a ‘trial by combat’ 

The theory that anti-Trump agitators stirred up the unrest has been decisively debunked. 

Those arrested so far for their part in the riots have in many cases a long and public history of supporting the president: none of those detained has been a supporter of ANTIFA.

But Giuliani told Bannon: ‘This thing was planned and a lot of the people – Antifa, and even some right wing groups who were enemies of [Trump] and they were doing it in order to hurt him including some right wing groups that operate for the Lincoln project.’

Giuliani addressed the MAGA crowd before the Capitol riot, calling for a 'trial by combat'

Giuliani addressed the MAGA crowd before the Capitol riot, calling for a ‘trial by combat’

Giuliani was one of Trump's closest allies during his presidency

Giuliani was one of Trump’s closest allies during his presidency

The Capitol chaos resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer; dozens of injuries; and extensive damage throughout the ransacked building

The Capitol chaos resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer; dozens of injuries; and extensive damage throughout the ransacked building

The Capitol riot unfolded after Trump staged a rally on January 6 and called on his supporters to march on the Capitol to 'fight' the election result

The Capitol riot unfolded after Trump staged a rally on January 6 and called on his supporters to march on the Capitol to ‘fight’ the election result

He continued: ‘One of the people involved brought in right wing groups that opposed Trump and he brought them in specifically because he wanted to blow this thing up. He had the same motivation the Antifa people had. So it isn’t like all these right wing groups were all pro-Trump.’

Giuliani would not say who specifically in the Lincoln project he was accusing, insisting ‘I don’t know if I can reveal his name, because we have that from anonymous sources.’ 

Even Trump ally Bannon was taken aback by Giuliani’s rant, telling him: ‘You can’t throw a charge out there like that and say, “Yeah, I’ve got a double-secret probation guy who I can’t mention but he worked for Romney and he worked for the Lincoln Project”.’

The Lincoln project blasted Giuliani in it’s warning letter, saying: ‘You told your zealots what to do. They listened. They vandalized. They terrorized. They injured. They killed,” the letter reads. 

‘Rather than apologizing for your actions, you have spent the ensuing weeks deflecting blame and grasping for some way to explain your misconduct.’

It continues: ‘You committed a textbook act of defamation. You publicly accused The Lincoln Project of an infamous and criminal act that it had nothing to do with, as you very well know. You lied.’  

Even Trump ally Bannon was taken aback by Giuliani's rant, saying 'You can't throw a charge out there like that'

Even Trump ally Bannon was taken aback by Giuliani’s rant, saying ‘You can’t throw a charge out there like that’

Trump himself has not publicly acknowledged any responsibility for the attack on the Capitol, and has reportedly blamed Antifa himself in discussions with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the days after the attack. 

McCarthy strongly pushed back against Trump’s claim that the rioters were Left-wing agitators intent on discrediting Trump and his followers – a claim made by staunchly pro-Trump congressman Matt Gaetz, and repeated by Fox News’ anchors and pundits.

‘It’s not ANTIFA, it’s MAGA,’ McCarthy replied, according to Axios.

The Capitol chaos resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer; dozens of injuries; and extensive damage throughout the ransacked building.

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