First, some background on RICO.
Prosecutors were finding it hard to bring down mobs partly because bosses had ways to insulate themselves.
They could only try mob-related crimes individually.
RICO lets prosecutors take down the entire organization, and makes it easier to reach the boss.
(1) conduct of
(2) an enterprise
(3) through a pattern of
(4) racketeering activity. (Sedima 473 U.S. 479)
The activity can be almost any crime—bribery, fraud, etc.
The pattern requires at least two crimes in a period of 10 years.
Here's an understatement: Finding 2 crimes over 10 years connected to the Trump Org won't be hard.
In Cohen’s testimony alone, he pointed to several crimes traceable to the Trump Org:
See also: russia-investigation-summary.com/crimes/
I can already hear a cry from the far right saying: “Yeah, but he didn’t collude with Russia!”
As Masha Gessen explained👇 the cyber attack on the 2016 election was widely seen primarily as “the subversion of American democracy by a hostile power” (Russia)
Russia is partly a normal state entity.
But it is mostly run by a mafia that acts for its own profit and not the public good.
The "mafia" part is really good at criminal activity.
What happened in 2016, Gessen says, was “an attempt at state capture by an international crime syndicate.”
(end summary of Gessen)
The Trump Org. is part of the international crime syndicate that captured the White House.
Today's mobsters have gone international, he said. They are fluid with global reach, and (in 2011) already posed a significant security risk to the U.S.
Motivated by greed, they sell to the highest bidder and will stop at nothing to make money.
Mogilevich was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
Mogilevich and Trump are old pals.
Russian gangsters are part of the Iron Triangle that's cornering the market on hydrocarbons (which explains climate change denial)
“The Trump Org, as part of an international crime syndicate (including Russian mobsters) engaged in a pattern of crimes intended to sway the election.”
Manafort engaged in witness tampering while awaiting trial.
Roger Stone made criminal threats against the judge.
But members of this international crime syndicate can’t not do crimes. (I intended that double negative.)
Income from crimes keep the non-criminal parts of the enterprise afloat.
Crimes are what they do.
RICO allows prosecutors to seize assets & money gotten through crime. Even before trial, assets can be frozen so they don’t disappear.
Can you imagine Trump without the trappings of wealth?
Federal prosecutors need permission from the DOJ before bringing RICO charges; state prosecutors don’t.
It was already clear to me in April that Trump’s base would not be bothered by a conspiracy with Russia.👇
Fox can defend Trump’s choice of a “foreign alliance.”
They can say "Clinton and Obama did worse."
But what if Trump’s base discovers that their billionaire hero isn't actually a once-in-a-lifetime political wonder . . .
The kind the SDNY public corruption unit sees every day.
And that he's been committing tawdry crimes with Russian gangsters for decades?
In addition to being much harder to defend on a national stage (like a Senate removal trial) it seems to me that uncovering routine fraud, cheating, swindling, and stealing is when the cult of leadership breaks down.
Like a mob boss.
And this, my friends, is where RICO comes in.
Adding: Nobody can say for certain what prosecutors will charge because we can't see the evidence, and we are not privy to all factors they are considering.