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Plamegate as a RICO violation? Legal minds check in here!

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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:26 PM
Original message
Plamegate as a RICO violation? Legal minds check in here!
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 01:28 PM by geek tragedy
I see an enterprise, I see a pattern of racketeering violations involving obstruction of justice and criminal investigations, I see a conspiracy.


Whaddya think? My inner numerologist sees the term "1962(c)" figuring prominently in Rove and Libby's future.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. RICO implies an organization that is not the government
What you're looking at is federal felony conspiracy rather than RICO. However, the conspiracy law was not intended to be used where another perfectly good felony would work instead.

A lot depends on who knew what and what their intent was. That needs evidence and testimony and proof.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The government can be an enterprise under the RICO statute.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 01:37 PM by geek tragedy
There's extensive case law on bribery, bid-rigging, etc etc. The theory being that Karl Rove, LIbby, etc etc tried to divert some part of the executive branch to use for their own criminal purposes.

Btw, don't forget about the Niger forgeries as being part of a criminal conspiracy!
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. People keep bringing up RICO...
but I have an impression that RICO isn't really very effective and seldom gets used in prosecutions. Are there any legal heads out there who can corroborate this? Fact is, I have an impression it's just a kind of law that makes people think they are protected against this kind of thing, but in truth, it doesn't work. I'd like for somebody to tell me I'm wrong, as we desperately need such a law that has some teeth in it.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. RICO is a devastating tool to use against criminal organizations. Federal
prosecutors LOVE it. The big hook is that co-conspirators are liable for each other's criminal acts, even if they lack specific knowledge of those acts.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. so is this being used effectively
in white collar crime cases?
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Oh hell yes. It's used to combat money laundering with great frequency.
Mail and wire fraud, as well as forgery, are all racketeering offenses and predicates under the Act.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. what's the precedent
for the govt being 'an enterprise" under RICO?
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. City government, governor's offices, military, etc etc.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 02:16 PM by geek tragedy
Bribery is a classic example of a RICO offense in that context-bribing a mayor to divert construction contracts for instance.

The important thing to remember is that RICO is an extremely elastic statute/charge.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. OK thanks for the explanation
I wonder if it's ever been used against the Federal Govt then...or would this be something new.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. It's not used against the government--its used against the people
who are corrupting the government. The government itself would be considered a legitimate enterprise.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. oh interesting--
so I see why you are asking the question...has it ever been done before at the federal level do u know?
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. If I'm not mistaken, a division of the US army or Navy in Europe
was named by as a legitimate enterprise in a RICO case.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Years back, a local town in CT tried to charge anti-choice types w/ RICO
I don't remember what happened - damn this old age - but, it was West Hartford, CT, a reliably liberal town. The state or town wanted to try to anti-choice types under RICO.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I believe SCOTUS threw out the charges. eom
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Right I know (vaguely)
that RICO has been mentioned in such cases, but how often has it been used to win? Seems I mostly hear about it's being used as a threat or it's decided that it's not applicable somehow.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Defendant's will very often plead guilty rather than face a RICO verdict
Very easy to go away for decades.
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Patty Diana Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. John Dean has said that Wilson can sue Bush and win___
John Dean knows the law____check Findlaw archives, that's where it was published
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Patty Diana Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. At Findlaw John Dean published an article advising Wilson to
sue BushCo privately. I'm sure it's still there somewhere__I haven't got all my bush files on my larger computer yet to search.
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