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Tuesday 23 July, 2024
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What is RICO, Georgia’s anti-racketeering law, and how does it apply to Trump, allies?

BY Shahzad Saeed Aug 16, 2023. 07:44 pm UPDATED: Aug 16, 2023. 07:44 pm

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In an effort to rig Georgia’s 2020 election, former president Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants have been charged with a number of crimes.

However, their alleged wrongdoings are linked by the claim made under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

What is RICO?

The state law known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), which is comparable to the federal statute and targets criminal enterprises, is similar to the federal statute. This law enables Georgia’s prosecutors to charge a variety of actions, including those that take place outside the state but are part of a larger conspiracy.

The RICO Act of Georgia, passed in 1980, makes it illegal to take part in, control, or maintain a “enterprise” through a repeated pattern of illegal behavior. It also makes it illegal to plan to do so. Notably, the alleged plot’s success does not automatically justify a RICO charge.

An “enterprise” can be a single person or a team of connected individuals working together to accomplish a shared objective. The term “racketeering activity” refers to engaging in, attempting to engage in, or inciting another to engage in any of the more than thirty specified state offenses. In order to demonstrate a person engaged in a “pattern of racketeering activity,” which is necessary for a RICO conviction, the prosecution must show the person’s participation in at least two related crimes as part of their role in an enterprise.

When a recording of a phone call between Donald Trump and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, from January 2021 was made public, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched the investigation into Trump.

Willis filed charges under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act against Trump and 18 allies, alleging their involvement in a massive scheme to rig the state’s 2020 election.

Read more: Who is Mackenzie Shirilla? found guilty of murder in 2022 Strongsville crash

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