'Conservative criticism' of RICO is only when 'racketeers include white privileged lawyers': ex-prosecutor
Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center and MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler on Wednesday ripped into complaints about Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis' indictment of ex-President Donald Trump and his confederates under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act allegedly conspiring to steal the 2020 election.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, an estranged Trump friend, opined in Wednesday's Telegraph that to Willis, "this case seems entirely political" and suggested that Willis is "using it to run for office" or "bringing it to garner favor with other Democrats?"
Host Joy Reid began by recalling that erstwhile New York City mayor and one-time Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now facing the music of a law that propelled him to success as a United States attorney in the Southern District of New York.
"The fact that Rudy Giuliani knows better because he did use RICO in an expansive way when he was a prosecutor, and he understood that all it is is the collection of people committing separate crimes toward one criminal end, and you can apply that to non-mobsters too, he understood that," Reid said. "How ironic is it for you as a former prosecutor that he then walked right into a racketeering scam himself?"
Butler responded that conservatives only seem to gripe when powerful white people are charged under RICO.
"Can something be both crazy ironic, just desserts and poetic justice all at the same time? Because all of this is, all of that Joy," Butler quipped. "You know, if we look at this Georgia RICO statute, which gives prosecutors even more power than the federal RICO statute does, not a whole lot of Republicans in Georgia had a problem with that state's RICO law when prosecutors were using it how those lawmakers no doubt intended it — mainly to bring charges against young Black men accused of gang activity — and it's only when the racketeers include white privileged lawyers and when the head gang banger is Donald Trump that RICO is subject to criticism from conservatives."
Butler added that "defense attorneys have never liked RICO precisely because it provides so much power to prosecutors, particularly to ensnare the small players in a criminal enterprise and subject them to big time. But Fani Willis is now using that power to go after the people she thinks are the, the biggest stinkiest fish in the pond. And now for some reason, all these conservatives who are supposed to be champions of law and order that they have a problem with what Fani Willis is doing."
Watch the clip below or at this link.
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