A carload of White men who attacked an interracial couple with rocks and bricks.
A member of the Ku Klux Klan who built a cross, wrapped it in sheets soaked in gas and oil and instructed two others to set it ablaze in front of the home of a family of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.
A social media influencer who spread misinformation aimed at preventing people from voting.
And now, a former president of the United States.
When Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday and accused of trying to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election, he found himself in the unenviable company of defendants charged under a criminal statute dating to the Reconstruction era.
The statute, Section 241 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, was originally adopted as part of the Enforcement Act of 1870. It was the first in a series of measures known as the Ku Klux Klan Acts designed to protect rights guaranteed by the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, collectively called the Reconstruction Amendments. Section 241 makes it a crime to “conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person” exercising a right protected by the Constitution or federal law. [Continue reading…]