Federal Law Enforcement Veterans Who Brought Down the Mob Say RICO Can Take Down the Clintons
The FBI’s reopened investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the newly exposed investigation into the Clinton Foundation have together taken a “very high priority,” Fox News reported Wednesday. The FBI could and should be investigating the Clinton Foundation and related enterprises for violating the RICO Act, multiple former federal law enforcement officials told LifeZette.
New York City is famous the world over for its Five Families of La Cosa Nostra — the Colombo, Gambino, Lucchese, Bonanno, and Genovese families — organized Italian-American criminal enterprises that for decades ruled much of the city with an iron fist.
“The more you see WikiLeaks … you see the breadth and scope of this conspiracy. It makes our taking down of organized crime in the 1980s … look like child’s play.”
Ultimately, their power was crippled following the 1985-1986 Mafia Commission Trial, in which all of the bosses of the Five Families — along with 3 underbosses, one consigliere, and two soldiers — were indicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law enacted in 1970 to specifically tackle organized crime.
RICO was devastatingly effective in bringing down the Italian Mafia, and it could also be used to take down New York City’s unofficial sixth organized crime family — the Clintons, whose Clinton Foundation is headquartered in New York’s Southern District. So say veterans of federal law enforcement.
“Just from what I’ve seen in the public domain, it’s a classic RICO case,” said James Kallstrom, former assistant director of the FBI. Before his time as the FBI’s No. 2 man, Kallstrom was the lead agent in the New York field office during the Mafia Commission Trial.
“The more you see WikiLeaks … you see the breadth and scope of this conspiracy,” Kallstrom said. “It makes our taking down of organized crime in the 1980s, when we indicted the La Cosa Nostra, arrested all the families, and seized all the documents … look like child’s play,” he continued. “You could make a very strong RICO case against the Clinton Foundation and all of its minions.”
The RICO Act was introduced to address a fundamental loophole in the American legal system. Because of common law tradition, the U.S. legal system focuses on individual crimes perpetrated by individual actors, which can be proved by evidence related only to those individual crimes.
This ancient perspective on criminality meant that until the establishment of the RICO Act, the leader of a criminal syndicate who ordered an underling to commit a crime was exceptionally hard to charge with that crime.
But with the establishment of RICO, authorities could take down entire organized criminal enterprises and their leaders. Though the RICO Act, as its name suggests, focuses specifically on the crime of racketeering, it can and is often used to go after organizations involved in other types of criminal activity.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Clinton Foundation, coupled with the Clinton Global Initiative, constitute a criminal enterprise for purposes of the RICO statute,” Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who also has experience prosecuting RICO cases, told LifeZette.