Trump Gets Mob Boss Treatment with Guilty Pleas

Georgia prosecutors are after the presidential candidate much more than his allies.

Written by Hudson Crozier

What’s happening: So far, four people have pled guilty in the Georgia criminal case centered around former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election challenges. As part of their plea deals, they will each avoid prison time and have agreed to testify against Trump if asked.

  • Catch up: Trump and 18 others face state-level charges for a “conspiracy” to thwart the election. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is targeting them as a “criminal enterprise” under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Why it matters: Prosecutors are winning over co-defendants with soft plea deals to focus on convicting Trump — a common tactic in racketeering cases when prosecutors have their eye on a leading figure. Their testimonies could significantly hurt Trump’s defense at trial.

The Trump Mafia? Historically, the Department of Justice has used this strategy to take down powerful crime bosses. Rudy Giuliani built his career as a prosecutor by using the federal RICO Act against New York gangsters in the 1980s. Ironically, Giuliani is now a co-defendant in Trump’s case preparing to fight state RICO charges.

  • Criticism: Some analysts, including legal experts, have argued that Willis uses Georgia’s racketeering law too broadly, even in cases involving street gangs. This adds to a growing list of reasons why her overall case against Trump may be weak.

  • However: A former federal prosecutor predicts two of the lawyers pleading guilty will likely testify against Trump in the federal case related to the 2020 election.