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Rudy Giuliani ‘perfected the template’ that prosecutors could use to bring down Trump and his family

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Lawmakers passed a law nearly 50 years ago intended to catch the godfathers and bosses who ran organized crime syndicates, and that’s the sort of operation Michael Cohen described in his public congressional testimony.

The president’s former attorney told lawmakers Trump and his family business had engaged in crimes that could be considered bank fraud, charity fraud and tax fraud, as well as possible insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and suborning perjury, reported Garrett Graff for the New York Times.

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Graff, the author of “The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s F.B.I. and the War on Global Terror,” said prosecutors could target the closely held Trump Organization in a number of overlapping criminal conspiracies under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

That law was passed in 1970, after mobster Joseph Valachi exposed the workings of the Cosa Nostra seven years earlier before Congress, and RICO laid certain crimes that prosecutors could use to build cases against corrupt organizations and target anyone involved in the conspiracies.

“It took prosecutors a while to figure out how to use RICO effectively,” Graff wrote, “but by the mid-1980s, federal investigators in the Southern District of New York were hitting their stride under none other than the crusading United States attorney Rudy Giuliani, who as the head of the Southern District brought charges in 1985 against the heads of the city’s five dominant Mafia families.”

The SDNY and FBI have since become adept at building RICO cases, and Graff said they pose a far greater threat to Trump and his family business than special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation is limited in scope under Department of Justice regulations.

Prosecutors could sidestep the question of indicting a sitting president by instead going after the Trump Organization and perhaps even Trump’s children, while leaving the president as an unindicted co-conspirator.

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That would allow prosecutors to publicize the president’s alleged crimes, which could lead to impeachment, and allow authorities to seize the Trump Organization’s assets and cut off its income.

“The irony will be that if federal prosecutors decide to move against President Trump’s empire and family together,” Graff wrote, “he’ll have one man’s model to thank: his own TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who perfected the template to tackle precisely that type of criminal enterprise.”


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2020 Election

Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows committed campaign finance crimes: watchdog group

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The government ethics watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Friday accusing White House chief of staff Mark Meadows of campaign finance crimes for allegedly spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including clubs, gourmet cupcakes, a jeweler in Washington and lodging at the president's hotel.

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2020 Election

Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell

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With poll numbers staying put and the odds of a Joe Biden win in Tuesday's election looking good — possibly by a decisive margin — there's mounting dread about how Donald Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with the emotional control of a — well, I won't insult toddlers with the comparison — and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He's already made clear that he will refuses to concede, no matter what, and he's grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.

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2020 Election

GOP senator offended LDS community after likening Trump to a ‘selfless’ Book of Mormon hero: report

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Politics and religion are colliding out west after comments a Republican senator made while stumping for the president.

"Sen. Mike Lee drew criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week after comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni, a heroic and selfless figure in the Book of Mormon," The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening.

"To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni," Lee (R-UT) said, pointing to Trump. "He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the ‘fake news,’ but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people."

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