Wednesday, February 17, 2021

An American solution

On Monday, the US Congress failed to hold former President Donald Trump accountable for inciting an attempted coup against the US constitution. So now someone is doing it privately, in the traditional American way: suing him:

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s personal lawyer, have been accused of conspiring to incite the violent riot at the US Capitol, in a legal action filed under a historic law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.

The lawsuit was brought on Tuesday by the Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and the eminent civil rights organisation the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).


The suit alleges that Trump, Giuliani and the extremist groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers conspired to incite the attack on the Capitol with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election.

It argues that they therefore violated a law often referred to as the Ku Klux Klan Act, passed in 1871 in response to Klan violence and intimidation preventing members of Congress in the Reconstruction south from carrying out their constitutional duties. The NAACP, founded in 1909, says the statute was designed to protect against conspiracies.

Well, that's one way of fixing it. But if this is a crime, shouldn't the federal government be prosecuting them, rather than leaving it to a private suit? Or is the US system now so dysfunctional that it is incapable of protecting itself from attempted coups?