Printed from JudicialWatch.org
May 10, 2000
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LOUISIANA GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS CONVICTED OF RACKETEERING FOR TAKING POLITICAL BRIBES

UNDERSCORES WHY RACKETEERING ("RICO") LAW DOES FIT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING, BRIBERY AND EXTORTION SCHEME

Judicial Watch's Lawsuit Against Loral Alleges Kickbacks to The Clinton-Gore Campaign and Democrat Party in Exchange for Trade Mission Seats and Export Licenses


(Washington, D.C.) In recent days, Republicans and others nervous about the non-meritorious lawsuit which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DCCC") brought against Tom Delay – obviously for political purposes – have criticized use of the Racketeering and Corruption Influenced Organizations Act ("RICO") to redress bribery in the political arena. In so doing, a few commentators have suggested that Judicial Watch's RICO lawsuit on behalf of the shareholders of Loral concerning alleged bribery and extortion by the Clintons, Al Gore, and Democrat Party in selling seats on Department of Commerce trade missions and export licenses to companies, allegedly willing to pay political kickbacks for these taxpayer-financed services, was ill-advised.

"As demonstrated just yesterday, the use of RICO in the criminal context to convict former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards of similar activities was successful by the U.S. Department of Justice. Indeed, RICO was designed to address just such criminal conduct and the drafters of RICO wisely gave the law with a civil remedy. The sad fact is that too many politicians act just like the Mafia, and RICO has been effectively used to redress this organized crime activity in the past. Accordingly, while the case against Tom Delay by the DCCC is non-meritorious, Judicial Watch's lawsuit for the alleged bribery and extortion which gave rise to the Clinton-Gore sale of seats on trade missions and export licenses – which constitutes alleged criminal behavior – is the perfect case for RICO. Indeed, what could be more criminal than allegedly selling out U.S. national security interests for campaign contributions," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

"To those attempting to protect Republican interests at the expense of criticizing Judicial Watch's effort to obtain justice for the sellout of U.S. interests to the Communist Chinese, the American people can only say ‘shame on you,'" added Fitton.

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