Can, and Should, NewsCorp face a RICO indictment?

In the wake of the ongoing NewsCorp scandal, some members of the media have been urging U.S. Justice Department intervention, investigation, prosecution, and dismembering of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Last month, 
we wrote about Eliot Spitzer’s call for an indictment of NewsCorp under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Today, we comment on Michael Wolff’s desire to see NewsCorp face an indictment under the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, a piece of legislation originally created with the express purpose of bringing down organized crime families.


In the article, my research assistant Daniel Schwartz and I argue that RICO has become a Frankenstein’s monster, and so it might plausibly be used to attack NewsCorp. We also point out that such an attack would have serious implications for freedom of speech and the feds’ ability to stretch vague laws to accomplish the government’s bidding. No matter Rupert Murdoch’s personality, politics, or corporate ethos, one should remember an important fact:  Murdoch’s company is in the business of producing speech, and a Justice Department RICO indictment would presage a disturbing threat to the entire Fourth Estate.

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How a Floridian busted for cocaine possession may save future white collar defendants

The common-law—and common-sense—notion that we should face prosecution only when we knowingly commit a crime has been slowly eroded over the years in state and federal courts. Last month, however, a Florida judge’s ruling in a cocaine distribution case opened the door to a wider discussion of mens rea and its importance as a protection for all Americans. In my latest piece for, I argue that the case is especially relevant to businessmen/women, given the explosion in recent years of vague and unfair statutes by which they can become unwittingly entrapped.
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Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy

President Obama today officially
 signed into law a bill allowing FBI Director Robert Mueller to be appointed two years beyond his original ten year posting. But what Obama neglects to confront, and all but a few citizens fail to notice, is a fundamental flaw in the FBI’s truth-gathering apparatus consistently defended by Mueller (and, to be fair, his predecessors): the Bureau-wide policy of deliberately not recording interrogations and interviews, a practice that allows the FBI to threaten/manipulate witnesses and manufacture convictions, and which brings into question basic notions of fairness and justice. In the latest installment to my blog, co-authored by my research assistant Daniel Schwartz, we explores the deeper implications of the non-recording policy, and exposes it as a means for the FBI, in the words of Sonny Corleone, to deliver to witnesses “offers they can’t refuse.”
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How the Arroyo Jury Got It Right

Boston jury recently proved, in the prosecution of a former Boston firefighter accused of mil fraud, that twelve ordinary citizens can be more discerning than the Fourth Estate and have a better sense of constitutional values than federal prosecutors.
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News Corp, the FCPA, and Eliot Spitzer's 'Longstanding Practice' of Hypocrisy

Eliot Spitzer has been 
leading the charge to indict Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). But Spitzer takes this position seemingly unaware that, had a different federal prosecutor used such logic against him, he might very well be in jail right now, as I explain in the latest post to my Injustice Department blog on
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