Biden campaign staffers go after "Trump Train" attackers using anti-KKK law

The lawsuit alleges that Trump supporters violated a law meant to protect voters and campaigns from intimidation

Published June 25, 2021 4:39PM (EDT)

A supporter of US President Donald Trump decorates his truck before a Trump Train rally in Harlingen, Texas (MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)
A supporter of US President Donald Trump decorates his truck before a Trump Train rally in Harlingen, Texas (MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)

Participants in a Texas "Trump Train," a caravan of cars adorned with Donald Trump and Confederate flags, On Thursday, are now being hit with a lawsuit filed by a group of former campaign staffers for Joe Biden who say they their campaign bus was harassed off the road by this so-called Trump Train in October. 

According to the complaint filed in the Western District of Texas, Trump supporters Eliazar Cisneros, Hannah Ceh, Joeylynn Mesaros, Robert Mesaros, Dolores Park, and a Jane and John Doe "terrorized and menaced" the bus by "playing a madcap game of highway 'chicken,' coming within three or four inches of the bus," and trying to run it off the road. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of White House staffer David Gins, former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, and bus driver Timothy Holloway, all of whom were riding in the bus at the time, as well as Eric Cervini, a Biden campaign volunteer who was escorting the bus in a separate car.

The suit alleges that by preventing the bus from making campaign stops in San Marcos and Austin, the defendants violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, which prohibits the violent intimidation of voters and obstruction of free elections. A separate lawsuit was filed by the same plaintiffs against the city of San Marcos, who they claim violated the same law by failing to respond to the incident.

New footage released on Thursday by Wendy Davis to CNN shows trucks festooned with pro-Trump and Confederate flags swerving in front of the bus and surrounding it on all sides, causing it to slow down. The video also includes snippets of the Biden staffers' 911 call with authorities, where they decry the slow police response to the harassment. "I mean, I think if they really wanted to help, they'd be here," a passenger can be heard saying before a police car comes between the trucks and the bus. The FBI opened an investigation into the confrontation in November.

Some of the defendants named in the suit took credit for the harassment when footage of the Trump Train was released on social media last fall. "That was me slamming that f---er…Hell yea," Eliazar Cisneros posted on Facebook in reference to video of a truck side colliding with an SUV that was part of the Biden campaign caravan. Hannah Ceh and Dolores Park both live streamed the event on social media and used the hashtag #operationblockthebus. According to the lawsuit, some of the organizers of the Trump Train were also were identified as having taken part in the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

"As a Black man, I'm no stranger to voter intimidation and political violence," plaintiff Timothy Holloway, who hasn't worked as a bus driver since the event, said. "It happened in Texas. It happened on January 6th. We need our political leaders to take this threat seriously and help end it now."

By Michael Lovito

MORE FROM Michael Lovito

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Capitol Attack Donald Trump January 6 Joe Bide Texas Trump Train Wendy Davis