The House Select Committee investigating Donald Trump is an Article I body and cannot prosecute anyone. What it can do is hire investigators and prosecutors to assist in putting together the elements of a criminal complaint and, if successful and if desired, make a referral to DOJ for a suggested charge, along with the evidence required to prosecute that charge.
Staff attorneys are the nuts and bolts of any committee, the legal engineers that make it “go” effectively. The Select Committee hired Tim Heaphy as its lead staff attorney to function as an investigator-prosecutor. Heaphy is an experienced former federal prosecutor who specialized in complex RICO cases. Another former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst for MSNBC, knows Heaphy and his past work. Kirschner believes that the Committee (which has several former prosecutors itself), hired Heaphy to help prove every element required to prosecute a RICO case against Trump and his team, e.g., Navarro, Flynn, Bannon, and more. (See video below)
RICO charges can be a bit of an enigma even to law grads. It is definitely a niche “inside baseball” charge, notoriously used against organized crime organizations. And how many times did we read and comment that Trump ran his White House like an organized crime operation? Loyalty to the family, to the Don, above all else?
Wiki provides a quick layman’s definition of the elements of a RICO charge:
Under RICO, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise.” Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”
Obviously, the devil in the details lay in finding at least two of the 35 listed crimes, demonstrate that they’re related in at least one of four specific ways to an organization that fits the legal definition of an enterprise. Heaphy specializes in compiling clean and clear evidence needed for each element in prosecuting a RICO case. Kirschner says that the evidence that has come out in drips – then, by bricks in the first hearing, fits the pattern expected in a sophisticated criminal complaint filed in federal district court and the evidence presented to the public (and DOJ) will satisfy each element:
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.