Prologue: Congress is the branch of our federal government that can hold impeachment hearings. The Southern District of New York is a federal court that can investigate under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Organization Act of 1970. RICO laid out “predicate” crimes of a corrupt organization involved in a conspiracy. There were violent crimes such as murder, kidnapping, arson and robbery as well as obstruction of justice, fraud, money laundering and abetting illegal immigration. Does the latter group sound familiar to you? In 1985, the Southern District, known as SDNY brought charges against the city’s five leading Mafia families. Rudy Giuliani was the head of the Southern District at that time.
Michael Cohen Testimony: Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, testified under oath in an open session on Wednesday, February 27 at the House Oversight Committee. He described what sounded like bank fraud, charity fraud and tax fraud, as well as suggestions of insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and suborning perjury. When asked by the committee members, he gave names of members of the Trump organization who had been involved in crimes he had discussed.
Cohen had been labeled a “rat” by the president last year when he agreed to cooperate with investigators; “rats” are seen in mob and crime language as turning against the boss. They give evidence to the state about how the mob works. In short, they cooperate by telling the truth, hoping to receive reduced sentences for their crimes.
Mr. Cohen said, “Everybody’s job at the Trump Organization was to protect Mr. Trump. Every day most of us knew we were going to lie about something. That became the norm. “ He continued, “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates. Mr. Trump doesn’t give orders. He speaks in code. And I understand that code.”
Current RICO investigations into the Trump Organization: In December, there were seventeen investigations into Trump Organization businesses. RICO allows federal prosecutors to place ten years of illegal activity into a single set of charges. That would cover Michael Cohen’s ten years as his lawyer.
This could lead to charges that include family members who serve as advisors in the White House: Donald Trump Jr. , Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in law. Donald Trump could be named as a co-indicted conspirator. This would raise the thorny question: Can a sitting president be indicted?
In addition, the charges could be made public for Congress and the public to consider as part of Impeachment hearings or re-election.
Finally, It is important to note that the RICO investigations have nothing to do with The Mueller Investigation into Russian Meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Latest events: The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, demanded documents from the Trump Organization and the executive branch on Monday, March 4. This would bring 81 members of Trump’s world in the White House and beyond to meet with the committee. The New York Times front page story, “A Path to Impeachment is Hinted in Demands.” Nadler detailed a new investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power by President Trump and his administration.
Nadler issued a statement, saying “ We will act quickly, assess the evidence and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people. This is a critical time for our nation, and we have the responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts.”
Donald Trump was speaking to reporters at the White House and was asked about the new investigation by the Judiciary Committee. He said he would cooperate and repeated that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia. “It’s a political hoax,” he said. “There’s no collusion. There’s no anything.”
Of course, The House Judiciary Committee will not be focusing on the Russia connection. They will probe into every nook and cranny of the entire Trump Organization, the holdings and financial history including Donald J. Trump’s tax returns. They will finally be revealed after all these years of his evasion saying “After the audit.”
The committee members will search for obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power by President Trump and his administration during his campaign and while he has been in office.
Epilogue: The American people will watch TV, read newspapers and learn the truth — in contrast to over ten thousand lies that Donald Trump has told since he became president. If the findings of the Judiciary Committee lead to Impeachment in The House of Representatives, so be it . They will certainly be of value to the Southern District of New York as they pursue RICO investigations.
Donald J. Trump could be gone from office before the 20/20 elections by indictment, resignation or impeachment/conviction .
Take your pick!
……………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson