FROM THE RIGHT: Legal and Constitutional ramifications of the Trump indictments

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By Don Schmitz

Fuller County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis has indicted former President Donald Trump and others under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). RICO legislation has been enacted nationwide so prosecutors can dismantle organized crime like the Mafia, whereupon any participation in a criminal enterprise can land you in jail. If an individual works towards the goals of the illicit group, even legal actions are punishable as a “co-conspirator.” You can be a secretary making coffee, but if you work for the cartels smuggling drugs, you can go to jail for a very long time.

One act identified in this indictment is that Trump tweeted “Georgia hearings now on @OANN. Amazing!” Tweeting out about a news channel covering hearings is First Amendment-protected, but it could cost Trump 20 years in jail. Historically such criminal organizations were obvious in their intent, so don’t get involved or you might do time. However, no consultants and lawyers of political campaigns believe they are involved in a criminal enterprise, so was the Trump team an illicit organization? Let’s unpack that.

Imagine an election whereupon a candidate’s campaign team arranges “contingent electors,” or as the indictment and media report, “false electors,” to cast their votes at the electoral college in contradiction to that certified by the secretary of state for insurance during a recount. That’s exactly what happened in the 1876 election for Rutherford B. Hayes, and the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy election. Democrats say that’s different because Hawaii was razor close, whereas Biden won Georgia by 12,000 votes. However, Trump’s team believed there was massive fraud, and sought the insurance of the alternate electors, just as Kennedy did.

Trump, in disputing the results of the 2020 election made a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger requesting help. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes… Because we won the state,” Trump said. Famed liberal constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz, former legal counsel for Al Gore, wrote a best-selling book called “Supreme Injustice” asserting that the 2000 election was stolen by Republican George Bush and the Supreme Court.

Regarding Trump 2020, he stated, “It’s pretty much the same thing I did and Professor Laurence Tribe did, and those of us who were on the Al Gore team. I was representing the voters of Palm Beach County, and we were saying ‘please check this county, check that county, find this vote find those votes. We think there are more votes. We did the same thing and Professor Tribe, wrote a legal memorandum essentially laying out a strategy very similar to the strategy for which these folks are being indicted today.”

So, a recount in Florida with a slew of legal challenges all the way to the Supreme Court was okay for Democrats, but recounts and legal challenges in Georgia for Republicans is illegal, and makes the Trump team a corrupt organization? Indicted Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani testified at legislative hearings in Georgia that they believed there was widespread election fraud, just like 2018 Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrahms “proudly” never conceded her defeat, claiming election fraud and voter suppression. She accused her opponent Republican Brian Kemp, who was secretary of state at the time of voter suppression. Last year Federal Judge Steve Jones ruled against her lawsuit, prompting now Governor Kemp’s statement: “Judge Jones’ ruling exposes this legal effort for what it really is: a tool wielded by a politician hoping to wrongfully weaponize the legal system to further her own political goals.” Now Trump lawyer Ray Smith is indicted under RICO for filing lawsuits challenging the 2020 election. Will DA Willis indict Abrahms and all her associates under RICO for claiming her loss was fraudulent and filing a lawsuit, or has the legal system truly become a partisan political weapon?

Self-proclaimed “Proud Democrat” Willis co-hosted a fundraiser for the Democrat running against now Lt. Governor Burt Jones, who was a contingent elector for Trump. She sought indictment against Jones but dropped it when admonished by the court on her conflict. She herself posted on social media doubts about the Georgia election calling it “a mess,” claiming Fulton County officials were throwing ballots out, and affirming “A team of lawyers needs to watch them count every single vote.” Beyond hypocrisy.

The Texas attorney general filed a motion with the Supreme Court contesting the 2020 election in four states, including Georgia, with a joint amicus from 17 other state AGs. Should Willis file RICO indictments on those 18 state AGs? Legal matters run their course, but this spurious RICO indictment screams prosecutorial misconduct. The indictments piling up in highly partisan districts in the middle of the presidential campaign are bolstering the belief by millions of Americans that this is a banana republic effort to use the legal system to destroy a political opponent, and the Democrats are in a glass house.