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Criminal enterprise: Trump and his family may fall under investigation for racketeering

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Prosecutors in Manhattan have opened up a new line of investigations into the Trump Organization that could eventually lead them to conclude that president’s family business is a criminal enterprise.

A grand jury in the Southern District of New York has subpoenaed records related to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, and former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the widening scope of the investigation reminds her of a political figure she once prosecuted.

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“It is impossible to know exactly what the federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating, but the wide array of crimes brings to mind a case that was prosecuted in Detroit when I served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan,” McQuade wrote for The Daily Beast. “Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and several of his associates were convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.”

The new subpoena shows prosecutors are currently investigating Trump and his associates for possible conspiracy against the United States, false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and violations of campaign finance and inaugural committee laws, McQuade said.

The breadth and scope of the alleged crimes could bring into play the RICO statute, which was passed in 1970 to prosecute organized mob bosses for crimes committed by their underlings.

“Congress enacted RICO, which, among other things, makes it a crime for any person associated with an enterprise to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, McQuade said.

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That pattern of racketeering activity is defined as two or more acts from a list of criminal offenses — which include some of the crimes prosecutors looking at with Trump.

“I have been asked before about whether the special counsel’s investigation could result in RICO charges, and I have thought that RICO was a bridge too far,” McQuade said.

She said the crimes special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating wouldn’t seem to apply to the RICO statute, but McQuade said the SDNY investigations of the Trump Organization and the inaugural committee very well could fall under that.

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“Either one of those Trump entities could potentially be considered an ‘enterprise’ for purposes of a RICO charge, if the evidence supported it,” McQuade said. “So, too, could a collection of Trump and his associates be considered an association, in fact, just as Kilpatrick and his associates formed the Kilpatrick Enterprise. The types of crimes that are being investigated – mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering – are all crimes listed in the RICO statute as eligible predicate offenses that can constitute a pattern of racketeering activity.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump mocked for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

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President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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Trump snaps after ‘enemy’ Fed chairman doesn’t drop interest rates — compares him to China’s Xi

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President Donald Trump flipped out on his Federal Reserve chairman after China imposed a new round of tariffs in his ongoing trade war against the economic powerhouse.

The president lashed out at Fed chairman Jerome Powell after he refused to budge on interest rates, and referred to the official he chose as an "enemy" of the United States.

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Trump allies have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young men to prepare for military rule

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Political allies of President Donald Trump have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young right-wing men to join the military and then use the knowledge in combat they gain to prepare for military rule.

Politico reports that former Trump White House officials who have read the book do not approve of its conclusions but they do believe it presents several intriguing ideas and they think it's gained real traction among many of the disaffected young white men who voted for the president in 2016.

"It’s still a cult book,” said a former Trump White House official. "If you’re a young person, intelligent, adjacent in some way to the right, it’s very likely you would have heard of it."

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