(FreedomBeacon.com)- Back in the 1980s, a federal prosecutor dug deep to find a way to use a rarely-used theory of law to pursue criminals, bankers and mobsters.
The theory in question was called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, more famously known as RICO, and the federal prosecutor who used it to his advantage was Rudy Giuliani.
Using RICO as one of the biggest tools at his disposal, Giuliani rose to prominence by being able to take down mobsters who until then had been very hard to convict on charges. That eventually led to Giuliani being elected as mayor of New York City, then becoming a presidential candidate and then being the personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump.
No, decades after Giuliani used RICO to his advantage, it’s possible that federal prosecutors may try to use it against him and Trump.
Jim Walden, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, wrote about this in a recent opinion piece for NBC News.
As he explained, it used to be difficult for federal prosecutors to connect those who were at the “center of the hub of the conspiracy wheel” in organized crime, who he defined as the “bosses, underbosses and consiglieri,” to those who were considered the spokes of the wheel.
Some of the crimes that were being committed, too, may have been illegal under a certain state’s laws but not under federal law. In other words, prosecutors were dealing with outdated tools to help them pursue organized crime.
That is, until RICO started to be implemented to take down these criminal masterminds. As Walden wrote:
“In a real way, prosecutions under this statute crippled the mob in the 1990s. It resulted in many mob bosses, including the so-called Teflon Don, John Gotti, dying in jail.”
RICO wasn’t written just as a tool to be used against the mob, though, and now federal prosecutors could consider using it against the man who used it famously as well as Trump.
Walden lays out the case when he writes:
“Plenty of prosecutors have looked into investigating Trump, but so far prosecutors have filed any charges against the former president. In my expert opinion, RICO presents an interesting possibility. But it wouldn’t be easy.
“To bring a RICO case against Trump and his inner circle, prosecutors would have to look for evidence that the group had common and related criminal aims, and that they committed a pattern of discrete crimes to further those shared goals.
“RICO provides for 35 separate crimes that can be part of a ‘pattern of racketeering activity.’ The evidence now publicly disclosed in the multiple Trump investigations arguably fits this kind of pattern.”
Among the potential crimes Walden listed includes stealing or hacking voter machines as well as witness tampering. There are also potential state crimes that tie into this, such as a conspiracy to commit murder as pro-Trump protesters threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence.
Will federal prosecutors actually try to pursue this angle with Trump and some of his associates such as Giuliani? Who knows, but if they do, it might be a difficult battle for them to win.