The fourth criminal indictment against former U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is gaining traction as prosecutors in Georgia have invoked the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law designed to punish organized crime such as the Mafia.
The Washington Post (WP), NBC News, and others reported on Friday that the RICO law, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, seems to be out of step with Trump’s allegations that he pressured the state of Georgia to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In fact, the Rico Act, which prosecutors used to charge Trump in this case, was created in the 1970s, when the issue of combating gangs and organized crime was a hot topic.
The federal law was designed to prosecute mafia bosses who led criminal organizations with complex business structures.
However, Georgia passed a more broadly applicable version of the Rico Act in 1980, which allows prosecutors to bundle multiple criminal charges into one offense under the Rico Act.
Fulton County, Georgia Prosecutor Fanny Willis, who prosecuted Trump, used the law against the mob last year and said, “The Rico Act is a tool that allows law enforcement to present the public with the full picture,” according to Bloomberg.
Experts told the Washington Post that the law’s application to Mr. Trump was intended to catch “big fish.
However, under the U.S. Constitution, a conviction would not prevent Mr. Trump from running for office or serving as president.
According to CNN, there are a total of 91 charges against Mr. Trump, who has been indicted four times. However, Mr. Trump has been rallying supporters by characterizing the four indictments as a “political crackdown by the Biden administration.
Meanwhile, the 19 people indicted alongside Mr. Trump are expected to appear in a Fulton County, Georgia, courtroom by the 25th of this month for an arraignment in which they will indicate whether or not they accept the prosecution’s charges.
Notably, unlike the previous three indictments, Trump’s court appearance will likely be televised live on television.
The state of Georgia allows cameras during trials, subject to a judge’s approval, and they are usually allowed except in cases where the victim or witness is a juvenile, 먹튀검증토토사이트 media outlets have reported.