Lawsuits against Haftar in VA and DC proceed
There appear to be two separate lawsuits against Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar in the US – a Virginia civil suit and a DC District Court suit – submitted by two Virginia-based Libyan-American complainants. On 10 February, a press release concerning lawsuits against Haftar was issued by Martin McMahon Law Associates. On 12 February, this press release was distributed by Mercury Public Affairs LLC – the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) lobbyists in the US – and included in Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosures. On 21 February, it was included in the Al-Monitor Lobbying Tracking.
The lawsuits against Haftar are unlikely to result in him being punished or sanctioned by the US courts in the short term. Nevertheless, they remain quite significant because, as long as they are in still in progress, they effectively block Trump from pivoting towards Haftar, inviting him for a White House visit, or embracing him as Libya’s rightful leader – even if he were to take Tripoli or figure out how to effectively export oil. The lawsuits also create a counter narrative for the GNA to use to try and undermine Haftar’s legitimacy and credibility. Finally, if a default judgment were issued against Haftar, it could spur more Congressional action for sanctions against a range of Libyan individuals and entities.