First Two Jan. 6 Appeals Reach Supreme Court

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Nov 17, 2023 - 08:00 PM

Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Supreme Court has set a conference for Dec. 1 on whether to accept two key Jan. 6 case appeals—one involving a federal agent who carried his firearm at the U.S. Capitol and the other on the Department of Justice’s controversial use of evidence-tampering law to prosecute Jan. 6 defendants for felony obstruction of Congress.

If either or both of the petitions are accepted, it will be the first time a Jan. 6-related case is reviewed by the Supreme Court.

On Nov. 14, the court listed both cases as "distributed for conference" on Dec. 1.

Defense attorney Marina Medvin, who is involved in both cases, said it should be clear by Dec. 4 if the court will issue orders, accept or reject the petitions for review, or hold the cases over for another conference.

The first case—Edward Jacob Lang, Petitioner v. United States—could impact hundreds of defendants accused of the most frequently charged Jan. 6 felony. Corruptly obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a potential 20-year prison term, has been charged in 317 cases, according to the latest DOJ tally.

Dozens of Jan. 6 defendants have already been convicted under the law, which has never been used in such a way since it was implemented in 2002 as a means to curb corporate financial fraud.

Attorneys for Mr. Lang and three other Jan. 6 defendants who filed an amici curiae brief in the case say the DOJ’s weaponization of the statute represents dangerous prosecutorial overreach.

“If the Biden DOJ’s adventurism is allowed to stand, it will permanently change the ability of the government to suppress the rights of American citizens," legal researcher Jonathon Moseley told The Epoch Times in October.

Demonstrators partake in the "Stop the Steal" rally, in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Jan 6, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

"Every American will be at the whim of any prosecutor to terrorize them.”

The DOJ said the High Court should not intervene, allowing the prosecutions to proceed.

“At a minimum, the government should be permitted to present its case to a jury and prove that petitioners obstructed a proceeding by [in part] preventing the relevant decision-makers from viewing the evidence at the time and place specified for that purpose,” reads the DOJ’s opposition document.

Preventing the joint session of Congress from tallying the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election “constitutes evidence-focused obstruction,” the DOJ wrote, likening what protesters did at the Capitol to locking up evidence from the election in a vault where it couldn't be accessed.

DEA Agent's Handgun

The second case involves the prosecution of a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent for carrying his service pistol and credentials onto Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.

Mark Sami Ibrahim, 35, of Anaheim, Calif., faces three federal charges: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm on Capitol grounds, and injuries to property for climbing on a statue at the edge of Capitol grounds.

Former DEA Special Agent Mark Ibrahim is being prosecuted for having his service weapon at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, something he said he was legally allowed to do. (Capitol Punishment/Bark at the Hole Productions)

Mr. Ibrahim comes from a military and law-enforcement family. Before joining the DEA, he served for years in U.S. Army intelligence. His brother is an Army veteran who became an FBI special agent. His sister is a U.S. Navy veteran, and his mother was at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Ibrahim's appeal argues that even though he was off-duty on Jan. 6, he was legally authorized by federal law to carry his service weapon on Capitol grounds. DEA regulations encourage agents to carry their weapons and credentials at all times, the appeals petition says.

"The prosecution of this case breaks faith with countless federal law enforcement officers who make themselves available around the clock, 24-7, and carry their agency-issued weapons per agency directives," the document states.

"Failure to address the question of the law’s exemption breeds uncertainty and shakes any remaining confidence of the public and the law enforcement officers in the application of the laws."

United States District Judge Timothy Kelly in March ruled against Ms. Medvin's motion to dismiss Count 3 of the indictment, which charged Mr. Ibrahim under 40 U.S. Code § 5104 for having a firearm on Capitol grounds.

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