Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Supreme Court gives boost to Jan. 6 defendants affected by obstruction ruling

By 37ci3 Jul2,2024

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave two men charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol another chance to argue that they cannot face obstruction of justice charges in cases affected by a recent ruling.

Judges remanded Edward Lang cases to lower courts Garrett Millerthey are trying to deny the charge of obstruction of official proceedings, namely the congressional confirmation of the election of President Joe Biden, which was disrupted by a mob of Trump supporters.

Court on Friday decided in a related case another Jan. 6 ruled in favor of defendant Joseph Fisher that the statute of limitations did not apply to his conduct. Lower courts will now determine whether Lang and Miller’s charges should be dismissed.

Lang “went to the Capitol to protest, became engulfed in crowd violence and an ongoing struggle with police officers, where he acted to defend himself and others from police violence,” his attorneys said in court filings. He is charged with four counts of assault on a federal officer, among other crimes. “The year 1776 has begun,” he wrote about January 6, adding the words “Give me liberty or death” and “this is only the beginning” in capital letters to his call. He also said that he wanted to be arrested.

Since then, Lang has said he has no regrets about what happened on Jan. 6, and last year called on former President Trump for help. “We’re rotting in jail because we stood up for what you told us to stand up for!” Lang he said.

Miller, who is accused of joining a crowd of rioters who attacked officers outside the Capitol and again in the Capitol Rotunda, faces similar charges, including assault on an officer. Miller too threatened Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on social media and was arrested January 6 “I was there” shirt.

In the Supreme Court case, the provisions of the federal criminal code were discussed 18 USC 1512(c)(2), which makes it a crime to “corruptly” obstruct, influence or attempt to obstruct any official proceeding. The charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The provision was enacted in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a bill passed in the wake of the Enron accounting scandal. Thus, the defendants argued, it never applied to an event like January 6.

Former President Donald Trump was also accused of obstructing the election in Washington. He may try to use the Fisher decision to his advantage in the hope that the charges can be dismissed.

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By 37ci3

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