Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Supreme Court rules for Jan. 6 rioter challenging obstruction charge

By 37ci3 Jun28,2024

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of a former police officer seeking to overturn obstruction charges for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots, in a ruling that could benefit former President Donald Trump.

The judges won 6-3 Joseph FisherTrump is among the hundreds of defendants charged Jan. 6 with obstruction of justice in an attempt to block Congress from confirming his election victory to President Joe Biden.

The court concluded that the law, enacted as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 after the Enron accounting scandal, was intended to apply only in limited cases involving the alteration of physical evidence.

The court remanded the case to lower courts for further investigation into whether the Justice Department could still prosecute Fisher under the new interpretation of the law.

regulation under question18 US Code 1512 carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

It remains to be seen how much the ruling favors Trump. Prosecutors in Trump’s case said that even if Fischer wins, Trump’s behavior will still be covered by a narrower interpretation of the statute.

Fisher faces seven felony charges, only one of which was the focus of the Supreme Court case. Even if the obstruction charge is ultimately dismissed, other charges, including assault on a police officer and trespassing, will remain in place.

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has been skeptical of prosecutors in the past when they argued for the broad application of criminal provisions.

Trump faces four charges in the election meddling case, including one count of obstructing an official process and one count of conspiracy to do so.

In a separate case, the Supreme Court is hearing Trump’s case claim of presidential immunity in the election interference case, which will affect whether all charges are valid before trial.

On January 6, 2021 prosecutors said Fischer, joining the crowd entering the Capitol from the east side. “Charge it!” “Mom—–s!” he shouted over and over again before pushing towards the police line. says the government.

Later, he and other rioters fell to the ground. After other rioters pulled him to his feet, he tried to appeal to the officers guarding the Capitol, saying he was an officer, after the video was released as evidence in other Jan. 6 trials.

Fisher served before As a police officer in North Cornwall Township (another man named Joseph Fisher was also a police officer. recently convicted 20 months in prison for his role on January 6.)

As of Jan. 6, there are 247 of the more than 1,400 cases Fisher could affect, but only 52 where it is the only felony, and only 27 of those defendants are still serving time. Most recently, on January 6, co-defendant Benjamin Martin was found guilty on Wednesday of obstruction of justice, but he was also convicted of aggravated civil disorder and a felony.

More recently, judges have taken Fisher’s pending decision into consideration in their sentencing decisions. If the defendant had been convicted of another felony, such as assault on an officer, they noted on the record that they could have reached the same decision regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Fisher case.

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By 37ci3

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