A legal tool usually reserved for organized crime could make former President Trump's next potential indictment his most damaging. Georgia's expansive racketeering law (RICO) gives prosecutors a powerful tool in their investigation into Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election, Axios reports. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis says a charging decision could come this month. Willis is expected to present her case to a grand jury this week. Two potential witnesses, including a former Georgia lieutenant governor, were asked to appear on Tuesday. Willis will likely invoke RICO when she presents her case to the grand jury. The law — inspired by federal statutes with the same name — allows prosecutors to string together crimes committed by different people toward one common goal. The DA's investigation has spanned two years and has involved testimony from dozens of witnesses.
If charges are brought, they'd represent the fourth indictment against the 2024 GOP frontrunner since April. Trump has pleaded not guilty to state charges in a hush-money case, federal charges in a classified documents case and federal charges in an election conspiracy case. The complexity of RICO cases makes it difficult for lawyers to implement a coherent trial strategy, said law Prof. Anthony Michael Kreis of Georgia State University. Stiff penalties associated with RICO charges are a major incentive for co-defendants to seek deals in return for new evidence. "The defendants who are left standing without plea deals and grants of immunity may especially feel squeezed as the process goes on," Kreis said. Some Trump allies have been informed by the DA's office that they are targets of the investigation, including Rudy Giuliani and the GOP electors who falsely "certified" Trump as Georgia's 2020 victor. Georgia may be the only case that is broadcast, potentially giving the public a better chance to digest the evidence, which could be politically damning for Trump.