The View DECRIES Trump Prosecutor…Because She Charged a Georgia Rapper

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On Tuesday, the liberal cast of ABC’s The View finally voiced outrage against the Georgia district attorney who was going after former President Trump, Fani Willis. It wasn’t because she was using the RICO statute to go after a former president and his aides, they were upset she used RICO to charge rapper Young Thug and his coconspirators on gang and other violent charges, including murder. They were particularly upset that a judge permitted Willis to use some of Young Thug’s lyrics to back up her case. They even suggested that Willis, who’s black, was sending racist “dog whistles.”

When introducing the segment, moderator Whoopi Goldberg incorrectly called Willis “District Attorney Fani Wallace.” Perhaps that was an underhanded dig comparing her segregationist George Wallace. Goldberg suggested the citation of lyrics in court was a “slippery slope, because if it’s — if we’re looking at lyrics, do we go after Bob Marley now, say, I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot the deputy?”

Co-host Joy Behar compared Young Thug to impactful English writer Charles Dickens, in that he was only writing about stuff he experienced:

The thing about it, even with books, it’s the same situation, like – So you write the truth, not necessarily the exact fact. So, for instance, I’ll give you what I thought this morning. So, Charles Dickens, for example, he wrote a lot of stuff about a debtor’s prison because his father when he was 12 years old was sent to debtor’s prison. Charles Dickens, the great English writer. He wrote about that. He didn’t name his father. He experienced what happened to his father when he was in debtor’s prison so wrote about debtor’s prison. It’s the same with any of these lyrics that I shot the sheriff, of course, he didn’t literally shoot the sheriff. Maybe somebody else did.

The cast made it seem as though the only evidence Willis had was Young Thug’s lyrics, leading co-host Sara Haines to suggest she might charge the band Queen for Bohemian Rhapsody and Johnny Cash for I Shot a Man in Reno.

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“I don’t think it’s such a strong case against him in particular and I think it’s a misuse of the RICO statute,” proclaimed racist and anti-Semitic co-host Sunny Hostin, citing her time as an intern for why she was knowledgeable about the law.

Hostin couldn’t understand why “Fani would use this particular statute to try to attack gang activity” because it was “meant to be used against the mafia, not against rappers,” or “black resistance” “storytellers,” as she called them.

The View previously lauded Willis for bringing RICO charges against Trump. While Goldberg was suggesting Willis was using racist “dog whistles” to “taint a jury” against Young Thug, Behar defended what Willis was doing with Trump (Click “expand”):

BEHAR: I think the word art is key, though because Donald Trump goes on television and basically admits that he was for the insurrection that he makes up lies all the time and —

GOLDBERG: He was also the —

BEHAR: But he indicts himself.

[Crosstalk]

BEHAR: But he indicts himself verbally every day on television. That’s different from art.

Providing a little pushback to the notion the rest were floating, Alyssa Farah Griffin noted Willis “doesn’t need the lyrics” to prosecute the case because “in the charges alone, there’s a 56-count RICO case against Young Thug and some of the others including participating in gang activity, firearms charges, murder affiliation.”

“There’s plenty to go on to not bring the art into it. That’s where it becomes a slippery slope,” she added.

Farah Griffin was also the one to remind viewers that Willis was prosecuting Trump.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s The View
November 28, 2023
11:28:57 a.m. Eastern

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So, the racketeering trial in Grammy-winning rapper Young Thug began yesterday in Atlanta. He pleaded not guilty to accusations he’s running a violent street gang. District Attorney Fani Wallace [sic] [Willis] petitioned the judge to conditionally allow some of his song lyrics to be used during the trial and the judge agreed.

Does this seem like a little bit of a slippery slope, because if it’s — if we’re looking at lyrics, do we go after Bob Marley now, say, I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot the deputy?

JOY BEHAR: Yeah.

GOLDBERG: It sounds ridiculous but think of all the lyrics that out there.

SARA HAINES: Queen, when he said “I just killed a man, put a gun up against his head, pulled the trigger, now he’s dead.” I mean—

GOLDBERG: There’s a lot.

BEHAR: The thing about it, even with books, it’s the same situation, like – So you write the truth, not necessarily the exact fact. So, for instance, I’ll give you what I thought this morning. So, Charles Dickens, for example, he wrote a lot of stuff about a debtor’s prison because his father when he was 12 years old was sent to debtor’s prison. Charles Dickens, the great English writer. He wrote about that. He didn’t name his father. He experienced what happened to his father when he was in debtor’s prison so wrote about debtor’s prison. It’s the same with any of these lyrics that I shot the sheriff, of course, he didn’t literally shoot the sheriff. Maybe somebody else did.

HAINES: Well, Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno. So, if we’re going after everyone.

BEHAR: What did Johnny Cash do?

HAINES: He shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

GOLDBERG: It’s a song.

BEHAR: If he had actually done that then he would be in prison. So, this is stupid, in my opinion.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN: I would say that two things can be true at once. District Attorney Fani Willis actually has a very strong case here. I think under the RICO statute which, by the way, it’s the same Fani Willis who’s indicted Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants in Fulton County.

But she doesn’t need the lyrics. So, in the charges alone, there’s a 56-count RICO case against Young Thug and some of the others including participating in gang activity, firearms charges, murder affiliation, there’s plenty to go on to not bring the art into it. That’s where it becomes a slippery slope.

And I am a fan of his but the case is pretty solid. I just don’t know why she would open the door to this because it becomes — we dealt with this, I remember in the early 2000s people were coming after Eminem for some of his lyrics saying it inspired violence or school shootings. You’ve got to be able to separate the art from the artist and —

BEHAR: I think the word art is key, though because Donald Trump goes on television and basically admits that he was for the insurrection that he makes up lies all the time and —

GOLDBERG: He was also the —

BEHAR: But he indicts himself.

[Crosstalk]

BEHAR: But he indicts himself verbally every day on television. That’s different from art.

HAINES: Expression.

BEHAR: Let’s get that clear.

SUNNY HOSTIN: The one thing I will is: I’m familiar with the RICO statute because I worked — I was the intern for the professor who wrote it. Right? It’s a very difficult statute to prosecute people under. I — he’s only been – And I’d like to call him Jeffrey Lamar Williams because that is his real name and it’s not Young Thug.

There have been six counts that he is connected to, but it’s a conspiracy case, and so those traditionally are very difficult. And I am surprised actually that Fani would use this particular statute to try to attack gang activity. We tried to do that when I was at the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C. There was a lot of backlash. This was usually meant to be used against the mafia, not against rappers.

And what I also think people are misunderstanding is the very nature of rap. Rap is about a person’s experience as you mentioned Dixon – Dickens rather. And I think rap is a form of black resistance. It’s the story of what young — a lot of young black men and young black women are experiencing in this country. And if you think about rappers like Black Thought and Tupac, and rappers like Public Enemy, they are our grios, our African grios, storytellers in real time.

And so, again, I don’t think it’s such a strong case against him in particular and I think it’s a misuse of the RICO statute.

FARAH GRIFFIN: Two folks did take plea deals.

GOLDBERG: The other problem with is it – We talk about dog whistles. This is a bit of a dog whistle.

HOSTIN: Yes, I believe so.

GOLDBERG: And I think that if you don’t want to taint a jury, don’t do it like this. Don’t do this, because what you’re basically saying is, “see, he’s probably guilty.”

HAINES: Well, it sounds like they didn’t need the lyrics.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, you don’t need the lyrics. Listen, take a guy to jail, put him in front of the judge. If he’s guilty, make your case. But don’t use the art to do that. And you-know-who was – he used to have that other job. It’s different when he says, “meet me here, we’re going to march together and make a hell of a bang.” That’s some B.S.

We’ll be right back.

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