“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin criticized Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday for pursuing racketeering charges against the famous rapper Young Thug.
Willis, who is also prosecuting former President Donald Trump under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, handed down charges against the rapper for allegedly conspiring to violate RICO and participate in criminal street gang activity, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Thug’s trial began Monday in Atlanta, Georgia. The rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, and his five co-defendants all pleaded not guilty.
“I am surprised, actually, that Fani would use this particular statute to try to attack gang activity,” Hostin said. “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 just the very nature of rap,” she continued. “Rap is about a person’s experience … and I think rap is a form of black resistance. It’s the story of what a lot of black men and young black women are experiencing in this country … 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.”
Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love told the jury Monday that many of Thug’s lyrics “bore a very eerie significance to real life” crimes of which his alleged gang stands accused, BBC reported.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg described the case as a “dog whistle,” and criticized prosecutors for using Williams’ rap lyrics as evidence against him, though Goldberg also defended Willis’ case against Trump. (RELATED: ‘I Read It Gleefully’: ‘The View’ Co-Hosts Celebrate Trump’s Indictment)
Willis handed down thirteen charges against Trump and eighteen other defendants in August for allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The indictment charged Trump and the other defendants with violating Georgia’s RICO Act, Conspiracy to Commit Impersonating a Public Officer, Conspiracy to Commit Forgery in the First Degree and other crimes.
The co-hosts have celebrated Trump’s multiple indictments, in which he faces at total of 91 charges. The former president is facing a civil case in New York for allegedly falsifying business records as well as federal criminal charges for violating the Espionage Act for storing classified information in his private home and for allegedly attempting to overthrow the 2020 election on January 6, 2021.