Christopher Krebs, the former director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, sued Tuesday in light of a lawyer for President Trump’s campaign recently saying he should be shot.
Mr. Krebs sued the Trump campaign and its attorney, Joseph diGenova, as well as the conservative-learning TV station Newsmax where the lawyer spoke about killing the former CISA director last month.
“He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot,” Mr. diGenova said about Mr. Krebs during an episode of “The Howie Carr Show” first aired by Newsmax on Nov. 30 and available online.
Mr. Krebs, a 43-year-old married father of five, has received multiple death threats since Mr. diGenova suggested he should be shot and now fears for his life, his lawyers wrote in the lawsuit.
Indeed, the lawyers cite dozens of posts made by users of the social media services Twitter and Parler, after the Newsmax broadcast, that refer to Mr. Krebs as a “traitor” or say he should be shot.
Filed in Maryland state court in Montgomery County, the lawsuit alleges the Trump campaign, Mr. diGenova and Newsmax engaged in a “calculated and pernicious conspiracy to defame and injure” Mr. Krebs.
“Plaintiff has been injured by a barrage of threats and harassment from those acting in accordance with Defendants’ incendiary directive, and, as he is acutely aware, faces a genuine risk of imminent harm from persons who may seek to act upon the Defendants’ call for violence,” the lawsuit alleges.
Lawyers representing Mr. Krebs are seeking monetary damages, as well as a court order requiring Newsmax to remove videos of the remarks made by Mr. diGenova from its websites.
Messages requesting comment from the Trump campaign, Mr. diGenova and Newsmax were not immediately returned.
The president admittedly terminated Mr. Krebs, CISA’s first director, for saying the recent election was the most secure ever. Mr. Trump maintains otherwise and fired him over Twitter on Nov. 17.
Mr. Trump and his allies have continued to deny his loss to Democratic rival Joseph R. Biden following Election Day, evidenced by what the lawsuit calls a “symbiotic relationship” among defendants.
“Defendant Newsmax disseminates and amplifies the Defendant Campaign’s and Defendant diGenova’s attacks on perceived political threats and allegations of election stealing, which pleases viewers, prompts endorsements from President Trump, increases ratings, supports the political goals of the Defendant Campaign, and helps raise more money from duped supporters. In this effort, Defendant diGenova — through his many appearances on Defendant Newsmax — has been an enthusiastic conspirator,” the lawsuit alleges.