Georgia prosecutor has plenty of experience using racketeering law to wield against Trump
Donald Trump (AFP)

The Georgia district attorney who's investigating the election-rigging case against Donald Trump isn't shy about using the state's racketeering law.

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, has successfully prosecuted street gangs, an assisted suicide network, a former DeKalb County sheriff and even educators under Georgia's version of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which she has indicated she may use in the election fraud case against the former president and his supporters, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"There's no real reason not to," said criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow.

Sadow believes the state's RICO statute -- which is more broadly defined than the federal statute -- is used too often by prosecutors, who would be able to present evidence from outside of Georgia to prove a wider conspiracy to overturn losing election results.

"It makes it somewhat easier, you have to prove less to prove a pattern of racketeering," he said. "It does not require, unlike the federal one, the existence of a (criminal) enterprise."

Willis would not have to prove Trump knew of all the activities aimed at overturning his election loss in Georgia, including the false claims made by his attorney Rudy Giuliani before a state Senate committee about the election results.

"It's a broadening of culpability," Sadow said. "People get swept up and charged with criminal activity based on the conduct of others for which they are being held responsible, despite being on the fringes."

Trump's attorneys will probably argue that there wasn't enough time between the election and his leaving office on Jan. 20 to establish a pattern of criminality, but Willis could show evidence that threats against Georgia officials occurred for an "indefinite duration" -- and possibly seek to ban Trump from appearing on a ballot again in the state.

"Boy, you want to get people pissed off, that would be a really quick way to do it," said Jeffrey Grell, a Minneapolis-based attorney and law professor who specializes in RICO cases.