Donald Trump’s high-profile RICO case against Hillary Clinton and many other defendants has been dismissed in one of the most strongly worded decisions in RICO in years. Trump had accused the defendants of conspiring to damage his 2016 campaign and reputation through false allegations of collusion with Russia, obstructing justice, wrongly obtaining a search warrant, taking his trade secrets and other offenses. The Complaint was nearly 200 pages, and the court correctly held that was way too long. Federal Rule 8 requires complaints to be “short and concise.”
But that was the least of the problems for Trump. The case was brought beyond the statute of limitations, did not describe damages “proximately” caused by the RICO violations and did not allege a proper RICO enterprise. The judge even invited the defendants to seek sanctions.
Though the former president’s lawyers bill themselves as sophisticated litigators, they do not appear to have experience in RICO, and it really showed. An experienced RICO lawyer would not counsel a client to pursue a political vendetta via RICO. And any RICO lawyer knows his client must allege damage directly caused by the predicate acts and a valid enterprise. From the tenor of the opinion it seems Judge Middlebrooks may sanction Trump and/or his lawyers. This would be harsh but not overly harsh for such a high profile case making so many fundamental legal errors. If that happens Trump would surely appeal, which he has done many times before in his litigious life.
All of this means no matter how good of a lawyer you are, you should not bring a RICO case by yourself unless you have done so before successfully. We are here to help. Contact Foster PC, the RICO authority.