Donald Trump faces fourth set of indictments as Georgia issues arrest warrant - but what does RICO stand for?

Donald Trump faces fourth set of indictments as Georgia issues arrest warrant - but what does RICO stand for?

Donald Trump: All of the indictment charges explained

Former US president Donald Trump has been hit with another legal headache while preparing to run again for the White House next year, as the Republican politician faced his fourth round of criminal indictments – this time from Georgia over attempts to fix the state’s 2020 election results.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis said she had investigated “a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in this state”.

She added: “The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result.”

Trump, along with 18 associates, have been indicted following a decision by a grand jury, with warrants issued for their arrest.

The politician and his co-defendants now have until midday on 25 August to “voluntarily surrender”, with a trial date being sought for “within the next six months”.

The charges against Trump include conspiracy to commit forgery, filing false documents, Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Officer and a breach of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (or RICO, for short).

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But what exactly is RICO?

Not to be confused with RINO – the term used to disparage members of Trump’s party who are ‘Republican in name only’ – RICO is a law which, in Georgia's case, says it is illegal for "any person, through a pattern of racketeering activity or proceeds derived therefrom, to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise, real property, or personal property of any nature, including money".

And rather than being another term for what tennis players do a lot of, racketeering actually concerns “dishonest and fraudulent business dealings”, according to Oxford Languages.

Of course, Trump isn’t happy with the latest indictment, taking to his Truth Social platform to claim “the witch hunt continues” and that it’s an attempt to stop him running for election again next year.

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