Knocking on 2 Doors Leads to RICO Prosecution

Written by Nancy Hayes

On August 14th, 2023, Reverend Stephen Lee was indicted in Georgia for so-called election interference, along with 18 others including former President Donald J. Trump. The charges state he “unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia and elsewhere.”

This is just totally absurd unless you consider Rev. Lee knocking on a couple of doors and making a couple of phone calls in Georgia a “pattern” for RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charges.

It’s not hard to figure out why Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis is using the RICO Act as a basis for these charges. The statute of limitations for RICO is five years, as opposed to the two-year limitation placed on criminal law statutes. Willis is just casting a broad net across a wide range of parties so she can group them all in one bucket and charge them all under vast criminal conspiracy charges.

What is RICO?

The federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law was passed in 1970 as the “ultimate hit man” in mob prosecutions. Before RICO, prosecutors could only try mob-related crimes individually. Since different mobsters perpetrated each crime, the government could only prosecute individual criminals instead of being able to shut down an entire criminal organization in one fell swoop.

In the past 40 years, RICO has been used to go after and prosecute Mafia or organized crime figures connected to gangs, cartels, and corrupt officials. Today, the government rarely uses RICO against the Mafia. Instead, because the law is so broad, both governmental and civil parties use it against all sorts of enterprises, both legal and illegal.

Criminal RICO involves a person engaging in a “pattern of racketeering activity” usually connected to an enterprise involved in gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, drug dealing, bribery, etc.

You may be wondering, “How is knocking on a couple of doors and making a couple of phone calls a RICO violation?,” because that’s in essence what Reverend Stephen Lee did. If you think about it, many grassroots activists did the same thing during the 2020 Primary – knocked on doors and made phone calls. Is the government going to come after grassroots volunteers like you and me next?

How did we go from charging real mafia and gang types with RICO charges to charging Rev. Lee, a pastor known for his many humanitarian gestures, including assisting victims at Ground Zero on 9/11, at the Columbine High School shooting, and even during Hurricane Katrina?

It’s pretty clear that the government is being weaponized. As Rev. Lee’s attorney, David Shestokas stated,

“If this case in Georgia is successful and criminalizes election contests, providing legal advice, lobbying legislatures, free speech, freedom of religion, or even offering personal services – the basic underpinnings organizing society will be SEVERELY damaged.”

Absolutely! If they can pin RICO charges on Rev. Lee for knocking on a couple of doors, not only are our FREE SPEECH RIGHTS at stake but so is FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

So, what does Rev. Lee’s humanitarian outreach even have to do with RICO?

Understanding Georgia’s RICO law

While the RICO Act is primarily a federal law in the United States, some states have adopted versions of RICO laws, often referred to as “state RICO” or “Little RICO” laws. Remember, the RICO Act was initially designed to prosecute Mafia and organized crime bosses. But Georgia is one of the states that has a RICO statute and uses it more broadly to tackle crimes like fraud, corruption, and conspiracy.

RICO outlaws four types of activities:

(1) Section 1962(a) prohibits a person from investing in an enterprise any income derived from a pattern of racketeering activity;

(2) Section 1962(b) prohibits a person from using a pattern of racketeering activity to acquire or maintain control over an enterprise;

(3) Section 1962(c) prohibits a person from conducting the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering; and

(4) Section 1962(d) prohibits a person from conspiring to violate §§ 1962(a), (b), or (c). “Racketeering activity” is a designation common to all of RICO’s prohibitions.

Georgia adapted the federal RICO law, growing it from 35 to 65 offenses under which prosecutors must prove a criminal enterprise occurred and document a “pattern of racketeering activity.” That means that RICO is not violated by a single, short-term episode, but by a “pattern” or long-term organized conduct.

Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis must prove Rev. Lee showed a “pattern of racketeering activity.” It is a fact he knocked on a poll worker’s door and a neighbor’s door. But does knocking on two doors constitute a “pattern of racketeering activity?”

If District Attorney Fanni Willis had done any research, she would know Rev. Lee is a pastor who has a long history and real-life pattern of helping victims in times of need. DA Willis would know that Rev. Lee has reached out to help victims and first responders at Ground Zero on 9/11. Rev. Lee assisted victims and families at the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. Rev. Lee even assisted victims stranded because of Hurricane Katrina. Does that show a historical pattern? Absolutely! It shows a pattern of compassion for victims in a crisis.

Did I mention he’s a PASTOR? Isn’t that what most pastors ought to do in their line of work – reach out and help victims?

Rev. Stephen Lee has stated,

“If I am to be effective, which I believe I am, we must always see the hurting human in front of us and compassionately, sensitively, truthfully confront that person with the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is what motivates him.

Fani Willis and RICO                       

Georgia’s Attorney General Fani Willis lives and breathes for RICO, having overseen over 11 RICO cases at this point.

She was successful in 2015 when she prosecuted public school teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools system for a cheating scandal involving changing answers on standardized tests. 11 public school educators were convicted of inflating students’ scores.

She was also successful in prosecuting Atlanta rapper Young Thug (aka Jeffrey Williams) and members of YSL, an alleged gang involved in a decade of violent crime.

Willis has been quoted as saying in 2021, “I’m a fan of RICO. I’ve told people that.”

She’s such a fan that as soon as she filed her case against Rev. Lee, she engaged the services of John Floyd. Floyd was sworn into office as a special assistant District Attorney to work with lawyers in Willis’ office on cases involving racketeering. In fact, Floyd assisted Willis in the prosecution of the Atlanta Public School educators.

The problem is Georgia’s District Attorney Willis knows she can’t nail Rev. Lee on anything specific, so she’s trying to compel him to “cooperate” with her office. Then she can say that Rev. Lee “conspired” with someone and threaten him with a harsher sentence.

But guess what? There is NOTHING in terms of cooperation. Rev. Lee knocked on a couple of doors and made a couple of phone calls about supporting a victim in a crisis. He’s a pastor. That’s what he does. He reached out to someone who was hurting and in a crisis to provide compassionate assistance.

How Is that a RICO violation?!?

When it comes to leftists and criminal justice, we should always look at what they are accusing others of doing. It seems that in most cases, whatever they are accusing others of doing, THEY are involved in.

Maybe we should all be asking, what is it that Georgia’s District Attorney Fani Willis is hiding? Should we be looking into HER campaign finances? Should we be looking into contributions to HER campaign? Maybe RICO charges should be filed against District Attorney Fani Willis. Maybe Willis herself is acting a little too blue, prosecuting innocent victims by casting a wide net with the hopes of gathering lots of little fish and falsely charging them all, including Rev. Lee with these criminal conspiracy charges. It looks like a desperate move.

It’s pretty clear to most that this is another example of the government being weaponized against “We The People.”