Donald Trump To Be Charged With RICO Computer Trespass

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Trump to be Charged With RICO Computer Trespass; RICO Was Predicted, But Scope and Particulars Are New

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2023) – Former president Donald Trump will reportedly be criminally charged in Fulton County, Georgia, with broad and expansive RICO count, including an unusual allegation of computer trespass, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

The law professor was one of the first to report that the criminal investigation of Trump and his accomplices by DA Fani Willis – which he triggered when he filed his formal legal complaint – would include a RICO count, and to explain why Georgia’s RICO statute is more expansive – and therefore more dangerous to Trump – than the federal RICO statute under which Banzhaf triggered the precedent-setting RICO case against the major tobacco companies.

Sources explain that there is ample evidence to support the RICO charge – under which Trump would be labeled as a “racketeer.”

While such a charge must still be approved by a majority of the grand jury which recently started meeting, approval is very likely in this heavily Democratic county, predicts Banzhaf, who also reports that grand juries very rarely refuse to return an indictment which is backed up by substantial evidence.

Here’s what law professor Banzhaf predicted more than two years ago:

Trump Being Probed as Racketeer – RICO Expert Hired; Georgia Criminal Investigation To Use Powerful RICO Statute

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2021) – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has begun a criminal probe of former president Donald Trump, has hired one of the country’s leading experts on state racketeering cases to help conduct the investigation; a further signal that the DA in hoping to bring a RICO case against him, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose complaint triggered the investigation.

Although Willis is already very familiar with Georgia’s far reaching RICO statute as a result of winning an unusual RICO case against some teachers who had cheated, she has nevertheless engaged the lawyer who literally wrote the book on state RICO prosecutions – “RICO State by State: A Guide to Litigation Under the State Racketeering Statutes” – to help her carry out a wide ranging investigation which she had earlier said would include possible racketeering activity.

According to a letter Willis sent to require the preservation of evidence, her criminal investigation “includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the 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.”

Prof. Banzhaf, who is familiar with the federal RICO statute since he produced the memo which led to the federal government’s successful RICO prosecution against the major tobacco companies, points out that the Georgia RICO statute is even more powerful and far reaching than the federal one.

Among other things, it defines racketeering more broadly than the federal law does, takes less to prove a pattern of racketeering activity, and does not always require the existence of an enterprise – especially an illegal one – to constitute racketeering. For example, the “enterprise” used in the RICO teacher-cheating case was a school.

Also, notes Banzhaf, although RICO requires at least two independently illegal racketeering activities – “predicate acts” – to prove a pattern of corruption by Trump and alleged co-conspirators, making false statements such as Trump and some of his allies are alleged to have made would satisfy Georgia’s RICO law.

Racketeering, which is a felony in Georgia, can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison, a hefty fine, and disgorgements of ill-gotten gains. Most felons in Georgia convicted of racketeering offenses do serve time in prison, Banzhaf notes.

This RICO probe is probably the most serious legal threat Trump faces now that he no longer enjoys any protection as president, notes Banzhaf.

It is a very far ranging statute which permits wide disclosure and has a very heavy penalty.

It is also in the hands of a prosecutor who is a Democrat, and most members of a grand jury and of any criminal trial juries in this county are likely to be very unfriendly to Trump, he says.