MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Conservative activist Laura Loomer is suing Rep. Rashida Tlaib over an incident that happened at a campaign event last year in Minneapolis, seeking $2 million in damages for alleged assault and battery.
Loomer, who is currently running for Congress in Florida’s 21st District, claims that the Michigan congresswoman assaulted her when she grabbed her phone at a campaign event for Ilhan Omar at Holy Land deli last August.
Tlaib was campaigning at the northeast Minneapolis restaurant for Omar, who was then running for Minnesota’s 5th District. Both Tlaib and Omar were elected to the U.S. House that November, becoming the first Muslim women in Congress. The two are half of the progressive group of lawmakers known as “the squad.”
Video of the campaign event at Holy Land shows Tlaib grabbing Loomer’s phone as she records her, asking if Tlaib considers Hamas a terrorist organization.
According to the lawsuit, Tlaib “violently grabbed” the phone as Loomer was working as a journalist, seeking to understand Tlaib’s positions on Israel and Palestine. (Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants; Loomer is Jewish).
Freedom Watch, the conservative group that filed the lawsuit, says that Loomer is suing Tlaib not for political purposes, but to hold the congresswoman accountable for her “unhinged hatred for Jews and Israel.”
Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, also filed a complaint against Omar earlier this year, seeking a Justice Department investigation into the Minnesota congresswoman.