Raskin says Trump’s Georgia case ‘custom-made’ for racketeering prosecution

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Sunday that the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act seems “custom-made” for the Fulton County election indictment against former President Trump and his 18 co-defendants. 

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Raskin pushed back against the concern that bringing a RICO prosecution could eventually risk jury nullification if the jury ultimately finds that the charges are an overreach.  

“[RICO] applies to a pattern of racketeering activity that is organizing people together into a conspiracy in order to achieve an illegal end — in this case, the overthrow of a presidential election and substituting a counterfeit process made up of fake electors for the actual process that the people voted on. So there are lots of component criminal parts to it, and there were a lot of people involved,” Raskin said in the interview. 

“And that to me, seems as if it’s custom-made for a RICO prosecution, the way that we’ve developed it,” Raskin continued. “If people want to talk about reforming the RICO statute, then we can analyze that, but it’s been upheld against constitutional attack repeatedly.” 

Raskin — who was the lead impeachment manager in January 2021 against Trump and sat on the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol — made the case that RICO is not, today, used in most cases in order to prosecute the mafia. 

“Well, RICO has been used mostly not against the mafia, if you look at all of the RICO prosecutions in the country at the federal and state level,” Raskin said. “Of course, there would be something strange about a law that applies only to one group.”

Trump and 18 co-defendants were charged in a sprawling RICO case over his efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia. This past week, he was processed at the Fulton County Jail and paid a $200,000 bond to be released.

Tags Donald Trump indictment Jamie Raskin RICO charges