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New York NY NOV 12 2019: Donald Trump coin presidential against US flag in the election 2020

Trump & the Rico Act: What’s Going On?

The Big News: Former President Donald Trump and 18 other people are in some deep legal trouble in Georgia. They’re being charged under something called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (Rico) Act. This law has been mostly used against gangsters and mob bosses in the past.

Allegorical car with Donald Trump doll during performing Grand show Mardi Gras parade
Allegorical car with Donald Trump doll during performing Grand show Mardi Gras parade

What Are They Accused Of?

They’re accused of trying to mess with the results of the 2020 presidential election. The person behind these charges, Fani Willis (she’s a top lawyer or District Attorney in Fulton County, Georgia), thinks that Trump and his team acted like a criminal gang to change the election outcome.

What’s the Rico Act?

The Rico Act is a law that was made to fight organized crime groups. In simple terms, it helps connect the big bosses who give the orders with the small fries who do the dirty work.

Georgia has its own version of this law, and it’s even broader. To prove someone guilty under this law, lawyers have to show that there was a criminal “team” or “enterprise” and that they committed at least two major crimes.

Justice mallet and RICO act acronym close up with US flag on background
Justice mallet and RICO act acronym close up with US flag on background

Why Use the Rico Act Here?

Some law experts say using the Rico Act here lets lawyers paint a full picture of everything that went down after the election. They believe Trump was at the center of all the alleged shady stuff. If proven guilty, the punishments can be severe—like up to 20 years in jail and hefty fines.

What Do They Need to Prove About Trump?

They need to show that Trump wasn’t just following what his lawyers told him. They have to prove he was the main guy pulling all the strings. Some experts think there’s a lot of evidence that could show Trump’s involvement.

Trump under fire
Trump under fire

Are There Other Legal Problems for Trump?

Yes, Trump has other legal battles happening at the same time. For example, he’s also facing charges because he said the election results were fake. Plus, there are charges related to him possibly mishandling secret documents and paying off a porn star to keep quiet about something. All these different cases might make things tricky for Trump’s defense team.

Who’s Fani Willis?

Fani Willis, the prosecutor, knows her stuff. She’s used Georgia’s version of the Rico Act before to win big cases, like one where educators cheated on tests.

Willis Tower in Chicago, United States.

Any Challenges with This Trial?

Rico Act cases can get messy and take a long time. Because of the big names involved, it might be tough to find a jury that doesn’t have strong opinions already.

To Wrap It Up:

This case is a big deal. Using the Rico Act against Trump shows how flexible this law can be. Depending on the results, it might change how this law is used against famous people in the future.


Note: This article is a simple breakdown of the situation with Trump and the Rico Act. It’s just to help you understand and isn’t legal advice.

FAQ: Trump & the Rico Act Simplified

1. What is the big deal with Trump and the Rico Act?

  • Donald Trump and 18 other individuals are being charged under the Rico Act in Georgia. This is surprising because this law is often used against organized crime groups, not public figures.

2. What are the charges about?

  • They’re being accused of trying to mess with the 2020 presidential election results. In simpler terms, they allegedly acted like a criminal gang to influence the outcome of the election.

3. What exactly is the Rico Act?

  • Originally, the Rico Act was created to tackle organized crime. It helps connect the leaders of criminal activities with the people doing the actual criminal acts. Georgia has its own broader version of this law.

4. Why is the Rico Act being used in this situation?

  • Some legal experts believe that using the Rico Act can help them present a clear story of the events after the election, and show Trump’s central role in these events.

5. How serious are the penalties if found guilty?

  • Really serious. Those found guilty can face up to 20 years in prison and have to pay huge fines, sometimes up to $250,000.

6. Is this Trump’s only legal problem?

  • No, Trump is dealing with other legal issues at the same time. These include other charges related to his claims about the election and some separate issues about documents and payments.

7. Who is Fani Willis and why does she matter?

  • Fani Willis is the District Attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, who’s pressing these charges. She has a history of using the Rico Act successfully in other big cases.

8. Could this trial take a long time?

  • Yes, trials involving the Rico Act can be complicated and lengthy. Also, because Trump is so well-known, finding a neutral jury might be challenging.

9. Will this case change the future use of the Rico Act?

  • It’s possible. Depending on the outcome, this case could set a precedent for how the Rico Act is used against public figures in the future.

Remember, this FAQ is a simplified overview, and the situation is much more complex in reality.

Sources BBC News