When Vladimir Putin sends government thugs to raid opposition offices, the world clucks its tongue. But, after all, Putin's a corrupt dictator, so what do you expect?Punchline: the prosecutor isn't being punished.
But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents' homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn't even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet. As David French notes in National Review, "As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren't enough, next came ominous warnings. Don't call your lawyer. Don't tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. ... This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform."
State-Sponsored SWATtings in Wisconsin, Courtesy of “John Doe” Investigations
The article describes how these raids were conducted as part of “John Doe” investigations into whether conservative groups had “coordinated” with Scott Walker in violation of campaign finance laws. I believe such “coordination” is First Amendment activity. If I want to take out full-page newspaper ads about how great Ted Cruz is, and I get ideas that convince me from Cruz’s campaign, I believe that should be covered by the First Amendment. But even if my pro-speech view is not accepted (and so far it has not been), the fact remains that a judge later ruled that there was no legal basis for the investigation that justified these raids, and quashed all the subpoenas.When you coordinate with people as part of a criminal conspiracy, that falls under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The investigations were conducted at the behest of a prosecutor whose offices “were festooned with the ‘blue fist’ poster of the labor-union movement.” According to one prosecutor who spoke to journalist Stuart Taylor, the wife of the lead prosecutor, John Chisholm, was “a teachers’-union shop steward who was distraught over Act 10’s union reforms” — and Chisholm “felt it was his personal duty” to stop the reforms. Pursuant to the politically motivated subpoenas lacking in probable cause, prosecutors subpoenaed electronic data such as emails and conducted these abusive raids.
Under RICO, a person who has committed "at least two acts of racketeering activity" drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state 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."The enterprise is the Democratic Party. Violations from the IRS are the most notable criminal acts designed to further the interests of the Democratic Party. The prosecutor in Wisconsin is clearly coordinating with the Democratic Party in his actions, though they may be legal.
RICO also permits a private individual "damaged in his business or property" by a "racketeer" to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an "enterprise". The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same. There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise; or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control over, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity; or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise "through" the pattern of racketeering activity; or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above. In essence, the enterprise is either the 'prize,' 'instrument,' 'victim,' or 'perpetrator' of the racketeers. A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.Here are some of the crimes that fall under RICO:
Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);The Democratic Party assists aliens in illegally entering the country. That isn't even hard to prove, they publicly proclaim they're doing it.
Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and many other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);
Embezzlement of union funds;
Bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud;
Drug trafficking; long-term and elaborate drug networks can also be prosecuted using the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute;
Criminal copyright infringement;
Money laundering and related offenses;
Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (if the action was for financial gain);
Acts of terrorism.