The House of Representatives agreed to launch an impeachment investigation on President Joe Biden. The case has been active since December and recently went viral for a controversial comment by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The representative defending Biden received severe ridicule online by political commentators and members of the public. Why? She made the bold claim that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is not a crime. Read on for more details on this story.

Understanding Biden’s Impeachment Inquiry

Before going deeper into the viral comment, it’s best to first provide some context on why Biden has an Impeachment case. The president was taken to court by the House of Representatives on a vote of 221 to 212.

Source: Agencies

The prosecutors alleged that Biden used his influence to improperly support Hunter Biden’s business. This was during the time he served as vice president under former President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. 

‘The Claims Are Ridiculous’

Are the accusations true? For now, there’s no definite answer until the court gives its verdict. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop Biden and members of the white house from commenting on the matter.

Source: X/WhiteHouse

Biden casually denied the accusations, saying that he was never involved with his son’s business operations. At the same time, the White House commented on the situation, calling the impeachment efforts  “sad, pathetic, and a waste of everyone’s time.”

How Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fits In This Equation

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the many people who find the impeachment case against Biden ridiculous. Nevertheless, she has asked the GOP to specify what crimes the president committed that deserve impeachment.

Source: X/thehill

Ocasio-Cortez is accusing the prosecutors of not having concrete evidence for their claims and merely wanting to waste people’s time. But shortly afterward, her comments quickly went viral on social media.

Ocasio-Cortez Vs.Tony Bobulinski

Ocasio-Cortez’s viral moment began with her heated back-and-forth with Hunter Biden’s ex-associate, Tony Bobulinski. She grilled Bobulinski, pressing for specifics on what crime the president committed.

Source: ABC News

“Is it your testimony today that you personally witnessed President Joe Biden commit a crime?” She asks. Bobulinski later answered after being interrupted multiple times: “How much time do I have to go through it?” He then listed several alleged crimes, claiming that the president committed a RICO violation.

‘RICO Is Not A Crime’

Legal commentators pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez was more emotionally invested in her questions than logically. Despite Bobulinski’s answer, she demanded again, “What is the crime, sir, specifically.”

Source: X/wman132

Frustrated, Bobulinski replied: “You asked me to answer the question. I answered the question. RICO, you’re obviously not familiar with. Corruption statutes. FARA.” Then she made the viral comment: “Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. RICO is not a crime. It is a category.”

What Is RICO?

Bobulinski responded that RICO is “a category of crimes that you are then charged under.” This is correct, as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law in the US that aims to combat organized crime.

Source: X/GreatlakesladyM

Anyone can be charged in this category, from individuals to leaders of organizations. What matters is that the offense must have been done within ten years. Regardless, this Act has helped in prosecuting criminal organizations and leaders who didn’t directly commit the crime.

Ocasio-Cortez Is Technically Correct

People online and several political commentators took time out to ridicule Ocasio-Cortez’s statement. However, Others pointed out that she is technically right. How? She asked Bobulinski for specific crimes, but he said “RICO.”

Source: X/turbarius

RICO is not a particular crime but an umbrella acronym for crimes like bribery, gambling, money laundering, obstruction of justice, murder for hire, and more. Therefore, merely stating “RICO” doesn’t really satisfy her request for specifics. 

So Why The Criticism?

On a technical level, the commentators’ explanation makes sense. She was merely trying to say that Bobulinski hadn’t answered the question. It’s like being asked to name a specific clothing item brand and replying with Jeans. It doesn’t narrow it down.

Source: X/OwenGregorian

These commentators speculate that the widespread criticism is because most people didn’t understand her intentions. She was trying to differentiate between the RICO act and an actual crime.

Nevertheless, The Criticism Came

Once the clip of her comment made its way to the internet, it quickly became a hot topic. Fox News contributor Joe Concha took to X and wrote: “And, of course… AOC’s favorite network has her back after she completely and totally embarrassed herself by arguing that RICO is not a crime.”

Source: Barrettnewsmedia

Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) wrote his thoughts on X, too. He said: “AOC broken in Hunter Biden hearing. So broken in fact, she claims RICO isn’t a crime. Well… empty the jails! Oh, and for the record, all the defendants in the Georgia case brought by Fani Willis fall under RICO. Oops.” 

Trump Faced Rico Charges In Georgia

Other internet users commented that if RICO isn’t a crime, then Georgia owes Trump an apology. This statement comes from the fact that Trump and 18 co-defendants face RICO charges in Georgia.

Source: X/Edgar Alan Dough

This stems from the 2020 Jan 6 Capitol attack, where the state accuses him of trying to overturn the election results. Naturally, Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges, but the case continues.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Comments Still Stands

Regardless of the public ridicule, Ocasio-Cortez stands firm on her criticism. She explained that requesting impeachment is a big deal that requires substantial evidence.

Source: X/Evie_Magazine

According to Ocasio-Cortez: “At this point, the story is not the fact that the basis of this impeachment inquiry is wrong. The story is why it’s proceeding anyway. Why is this committee proceeding based on false charges?” 

President Biden Already Requested To Close The Investigation

It’s worth noting that Biden already requested the courts to cancel the impeachment investigations, But does he have the power to do so?

Source: X/JoeBiden

It’s worth noting that the US judicial arm is separate from the government and doesn’t succumb to political influence. Also, the investigation received a vote of 221 to 212. So, it may be tricky to dismiss the case.

The Criticism Will Die Down Eventually

For now, Ocasio-Cortez’s statement about RICO not being a crime is going viral. But like many internet sensations, it will die down eventually.

Source: Wikimedia/Dimitri Rodriguez

But, irrespective of the widespread criticism, experts say her comment was technically correct. The prosecutors have yet to produce any specific evidence that Biden has committed any crime worth impeachment.