The Daily Beast

How Libya’s Civil War Turned Into a MAGA Courtroom Drama

Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Libya’s bloody civil war is spilling into American courts and, as the protagonists gear up for a courtroom fight over war crimes, what was once a conflict remote from American politics is taking on a decidedly MAGA tone.

On the surface, the courtroom battle pits Khalifa Haftar, the warlord seeking to topple Libya’s internationally recognized government, against civilians who say Haftar’s forces attacked and tortured, killed, and mutilated their civilian family members in violation of U.S. and international humanitarian law. But while the brutal civil war itself may seem remote from American politics, the domestic players aren’t entirely unfamiliar.

Representing Haftar is Jesse Binnall, a top Trump attorney who’s had plenty of experience handling lawsuits related to a different kind of insurrection—the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. And his Libyan client, an authoritarian strongman and Trump favorite trying to overthrow the government, is making an argument familiar to many of those currently suing former President Donald Trump: He’s simply too important to face his critics in court.

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