It seems “Ricky” has some explaining to do. A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday granted Donald Trump’s request for an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the NAACP after an “unknown individual identified only as ‘Ricky'” signed for the summons and complaint sent via certified mail.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, an appointee of Barack Obama, agreed to give the former president more time to respond to the congressman’s lawsuit after Thompson’s process server mailed the court documents to Mar-a-Lago where someone named Ricky—whom Trump claims he does not know—signed for them last month.
“On February 16, 2021, Plaintiff Thompson’s Complaint was filed. Plaintiff attempted to serve Mr. Trump by certified mail on February 23, 2021. That parcel was signed for by an unknown individual identified only as ‘Ricky,’” Trump’s attorney Jesse Binnall wrote in the motion for an extension of time. “While Mr. Trump contests whether that service was legally effective, the point is moot because the parties have decided to focus on the substantive disputes at hand and have agreed to an extension of time for Mr. Trump to respond to the complaint, up to and including April 26, 2021.”
You may remember Binnall for his representation of Michael Flynn and for his post-election litigation.
Rep. Thompson consented to Trump’s request for the extension of time.
The lawsuit—which also names the former president’s sometimes attorney Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers—alleges that Trump and the others “conspired to incite an assembled crowd to march upon and enter the Capitol of the United States for the common purpose of disrupting” the counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6—the day that Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol Complex following a speech by the then-president.
Represented by NAACP attorneys, Thompson filed the lawsuit in his individual capacity as a member of Congress, claiming that the alleged conspiracy used “force, intimidation and threats” to prevent him and other Members of Congress “from discharging [their] official duties.”
“As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes, Defendants Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, through their leadership, acted in concert to spearhead the assault on the Capitol while the angry mob that Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited descended on the Capitol,” the lawsuit alleges. “The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence. It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College.”
The lawsuit notes that “not all” the defendants “were physically present” but places members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers directly on the scene during the siege of the U.S. Capitol Complex. Notably, various alleged (or admitted) members of both groups have been charged by federal prosecutors over their participation in the pro-Trump riot. Some have been charged with perpetrating a pro-Trump conspiracy.
Read the service affidavit below.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report
[image via ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS_AFP via Getty Images]
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