The Trump administration is considering invoking a law normally used to prosecute members of the Mafia to crack down on violent protests gripping the nation.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the demonstrations and has even dispatched the National Guard and federal agents to help quell the unrest after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Now, the administration is talking about using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to prosecute the people behind the protests.
The Daily Beast noted that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf raised the idea during an interview earlier this week.
"Well, this is something that I have talked to [Attorney General William Barr] personally about. I know that they are working on it," Wolf said.
Under investigation are "the heads of those organizations and the people "paying for individuals to move across the country," he added.
Trump and Republicans often float the theory that backers with deep pockets, such as George Soros, are financially supporting the protests.
Barr said Wednesday, however, "I've talked to every police chief in every city where there has been major violence and they all have identified Antifa as the ramrod for the violence. They are flying around the country. We know people who are flying around the country."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for the Department of Justice to investigate the "organized" protest effort and determine who is funding it. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the violent protests "organized terror attacks."
The RICO Act reads, in part, "It is unlawful for anyone employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt."
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