CNN Normalizes AOC’s Illiteracy in Simple Legal Jargon

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By now, you’ve probably seen Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) shouting “RICO is not a crime!” during a House impeachment hearing of President Biden. If a Republican lawmaker or former President Donald Trump had made that declaration about the RICO charges filed against the latter in Georgia, they would’ve been ridiculed by CNN for making such a ridiculous statement. But during Thursday’s CNN This Morning, host Kasie Hunt had no such ridicule for Ocasio-Cortez. Instead, they seemed to hype it up.

Hunt’s focus on the interaction between Ocasio-Cortez and Hunter Bidne’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski was mostly about how the impeachment inquiry “does seem to have hit this wall.” She praised that there has been zero evidence provided of “criminal wrongdoing by the President,” and explained to viewers how esteemed Democratic Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was forced to “repeatedly” ask Bobulinski which crime President Biden had committed.

Hunt tried to convey the New York Representative as a professional, delivering competent lines of questioning. However, the clip of the inquiry that CNN aired embarrassingly revealed less than a minute of Ocasio-Cortez snidely interrupting Bobulinski’s response. Ocasio-Cortez not only refused to let Bobulinski answer her questions, she also exposed her idiocy by proclaiming that RICO was not a legitimate crime, only a category of crime.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: It is simple. You name the crime. Did you watch him steal something?

BOBULINSKI: Corruption statutes, RICO, and conspiracy—

OCASIO-CORTEZ: What is it? What is, what is the crime, sir? Specifically?

[Transition]

BOBULINSKI: RICO, you’re obviously not familiar with. Corruption statutes—

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. RICO is not a crime. It is a category. What is the crime—

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RICO, which stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was, in fact, a statute that describes over thirty types of crimes that could be constituted as racketeering. But, as a congressional representative, Ocasio-Cortez should have been aware of this; but then again, she was just a former bartender and didn’t attend law school.

While CNN feigned ignorance over this incident, the news organization proved that it was apparently very aware that RICO was a crime when it hosted disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe only two hours later. In a laughable turn of events, McCabe used the term RICO to describe the charges that Aryan Knight member, Harlan Hale, received in 2021:

In 2021 there, the head of their organization, a man named Harlan Hale was actually convicted and pled guilty to a RICO account offense, which is significant because it’s a public acknowledgment of the fact that he was running a criminal enterprise, the Aryan Knights, and he is now serving a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.

If CNN thinks the average American will understand the term “RICO” without any explanation of its meaning, then Ocasio-Cortez should be able to figure it out. Alternatively, she could invest in a dictionary.

The full transcript can be read here:

CNN This Morning
03/21/24
5:31:02-5:32:52

KASIE HUNT: A Republican-led impeachment inquiry does seem to have hit this wall. They’ve produced no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the President. Democratic Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, repeatedly asked Bobulinski what crime he had witnessed President Biden commit.

[Cuts to video]

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It is simple. You name the crime. Did you watch him steal something?

TONY BOBULINSKI (Hunter Biden business partner): Corruption statutes, RICO, and conspiracy—

OCASIO-CORTEZ: What is it? What is, what is the crime, sir? Specifically?

[Transition]

BOBULINSKI: RICO, you’re obviously not familiar with. Corruption statutes—

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. RICO is not a crime. It is a category. What is the crime—

[Transition]

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Please name—

BOBULINKSI: You want me to name the exact statute on RICO?

[Transition]

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yes! I reclaim my time—

BOBULINSKI: I’ll leave it up to you guys to define the exact statute—

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Ok, thank you, sir, I reclaim my time.

[Cuts back to live]

HUNT: Okay…Joining me now, Margaret Talev, Director of Syracuse University’s Democracy Journalism Citizenship Institute, and Mica Soellner, congressional reporter for Punchbowl News. Uh, Margaret, what was that?

MARGARET TALEV: Very convincing. So, this thing looks like it’s coming to an end and now sort of the question—without anything. And the question is sort of “now what.” There is, uh, Republicans are talking, Chairman Comer is talking about calling President Biden to testify. The White House is calling it a stunt, “will he subpoena him.” Presidents don’t normally show up and talk to congressional committees, I mean it’s happened before, but it’s pretty rare. It just doesn’t seem like one of those times. Or, is this really about trying to wrap this up? Maybe, try to do a criminal referral? Put it in your pocket and wait for a different president to have a justice department? In any case, to your point, it’s, it has not delivered as originally promised.

CNN News Central
03/21/24
7:09:16-7:09:34

(…) 

ANDREW MCCABE: In 2021 there, the head of their organization, a man named Harlan Hale was actually convicted and pled guilty to a RICO account offense, which is significant because it’s a public acknowledgment of the fact that he was running a criminal enterprise, the Aryan Knights, and he is now serving a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.

(…)

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