A Georgia DA May Be Readying RICO Charges Against Trump

'Washington Post' says investigation in Georgia's Fulton County may expand to other states
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 11:50 AM CDT
Report: Trump Inquiry Explores 'Multistate Racketeering'
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis poses for a portrait, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia has expanded to include activities in several other states, the Washington Post reports, speculating that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could be preparing to "allege a multistate racketeering scheme with [former President Donald] Trump at its center." Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute "is among the most expansive in the nation, allowing prosecutors to build racketeering cases around violations of both state and federal laws—and even activities in other states," the outlet explains.

Legal experts say the law allows for the inclusion of violations of federal law or laws of other states if the criminal acts establish a pattern of behavior aimed at a common goal. So "acts to obstruct justice committed in Arizona might be relevant if the goal of the enterprise, of the racketeering activity, was to overturn the 2020 presidential election nationally, as well as in Georgia," says Emory University law professor Morgan Cloud. Willis' office is reportedly interested in the Trump campaign's hiring of two firms tasked with finding voter fraud across the US in the final weeks of 2020. Trump contested the 2020 election result in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, though the firms determined the election wasn't stolen.

Fulton County prosecutors have asked both firms, Simpatico Software Systems and Berkeley Research Group, for information about activities outside of Georgia in recent days, the Post reports, adding that at least one of the firms has been subpoenaed. Willis previously said the investigation included potential "solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration," per CNN. (Charges are expected to come in August.)

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