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Libs Face Narrative Collapse After Supreme Court Accepts Case That Could Demolish Entire Basis For Jan. 6 Prosecutions

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 - 08:25 PM

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear an appeal from a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant which will highlight a law used to charge hundreds of people in connection with that fateful day.

The case will decide whether defendant Joseph Fischer can be charged under a 2002 law which stemmed from the Enron collapse which makes it a crime to obstruct or impede an official proceeding (like pulling a fire alarm to delay a vote?). The law has been invoked against Trump, along with 327 Capitol riot defendants - which an appeals court said the government could continue to invoke.

Under the Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, anyone who "corruptly— (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so" is subject to prosecution.

A key word in the provision, "otherwise," has been key - as nearly every judge overseeing riot-related cases in DC federal court have agreed with government prosecutors that rioters who sought to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's 2020 victory were "otherwise" obstructing that proceeding. One judge, Carl J. Nichols, ruled that "otherwise" could apply to other kinds of document-tampering.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit disagreed in a split decision, which will now go to the Supreme Court for review.

"We cannot assume, and think it unlikely, that Congress used expansive language to address such narrow concerns," wrote Judge Florence Pan, calling Nichols's ruling a "cramped, document-focused interpretation."

"We cannot assume, and think it unlikely, that Congress used expansive language to address such narrow concerns," she wrote. "We must accept, and think it far more likely, that Congress said what it meant and meant what it said."

Defense attorneys have argued that such a broad interpretation could put many otherwise law-abiding activists at risk of felony charges, which Judge Gregory Katsas agreed with.

While the riot involved “extreme conduct” not protected by the First Amendment, Katsas wrote, under this interpretation of the law a “peaceful protestor in the Senate gallery” could be convicted of a felony for trespassing while exercising free speech rights. Katsas argued that the law can apply beyond documents but only to people who “hinder the flow of truthful evidence to a proceeding.” -WaPo

The decision to hear the case comes just two days after special counsel Jack Smith asked the Court to fast-track a decision on whether former President Trump is entitled to presidential immunity in his 2020 election interference case. The justices could decide as soon as next week whether to expedite the review.

Democrats aren't happy

Of course, liberal / establishment news outlets framed it as 'interference-adjacent' in terms of the Trump prosecution, and have implied that the timing of the case is intended to help the former president in 2024.

How the Supreme Court defines how the obstruction law can be used related to the Capitol attack could impact hundreds of criminal cases, even the pending case against former President Donald Trump, who is also charged with obstructing an official proceeding. -CNN

* * *

The US Supreme Court added a new complication to the prosecution of Donald Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, as the justices agreed to hear an appeal from a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant facing a related charge ... Ultimately, a ruling favoring Fischer could upend two of the four counts Trump is facing in the case, one of four criminal prosecutions against him. The Supreme Court will hear arguments next year and probably rule by the end of June. -Bloomberg

* * *

Trump has been charged with the same offense as well as others in his federal election interference case. The court's decision to take up the issue, as well as the timing of its ultimate ruling, could therefore affect his case.

Trump’s lawyers could use the Supreme Court’s involvement as one opportunity to delay his election interference trial, which is scheduled to start in March. Trump is the front-runner in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, and any delay in his criminal trial in Washington would be to his benefit. -NBC News

* * *

The decision to hear the case will complicate and perhaps delay the start of Mr. Trump’s trial, now scheduled to take place in Washington in March. The Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling, which may not arrive until June, will likely address the viability of two of the main counts against Mr. Trump and could severely limit efforts by the special counsel, Jack Smith, to hold the former president accountable for the violence that his supporters committed at the Capitol. -NY Times

Of course, we know how this will be spun...


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