Trump Prosecutor Nervous About Supreme Court Ruling

[Photo Credit: By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call -, Public Domain,]

The Biden administration’s charges against Donald Trump over the mobbing of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, could soon be in big trouble. 

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments revolving around one of the main charges that have been lodged against both Trump and hundreds of others who entered the Capitol that day. A majority did not seem impressed with the Biden doctrine of having two systems of justice, one for people they like and one for people they don’t. 

The charge “obstructing an official proceeding” section 18 U.S. Code § 1512, writes The Washington Examiner, “was created during the Enron scandal to punish those who tamper with evidence or destroy it.

Jeff Greene, an attorney representing Joseph Fischer, a former Pennsylvania police officer who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, argued the statute doesn’t apply to the case.”

Liberals are already getting worried. Liberal outlet Slate explained their concern:

Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments in Fischer v. United States, a case about a man who stormed the Capitol three years ago and was subsequently charged by the Department of Justice with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress. At the heart of the lawsuit is whether the DOJ is overreaching in charging folks who participated in the violent insurrection on Jan. 6, and so far it seems like the justices are inclined to say … yes, yes it is.

“There have been many violent protests that have interfered with proceedings. Has the government applied this provision to other protests in the past?” said Justice Clarence Thomas. Nearly all of the high court’s conservative justices took a similar stance, questioning the DOJ’s intentions and whether there was any plausible precedent in using Section 1552(c) of the Constitution, which says that anyone who “corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so” is acting unlawfully.

Even though this case makes no mention of Trump, special counsel Jack Smith has also charged Trump under Section 1552(c). However, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern explains, Smith’s federal election interference indictment of Trump doesn’t entirely hinge on this statute, though it does “weave obstruction into both the facts and the legal theory of the case, placing it at the center of a broader criminal conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.”

If SCOTUS rejects the DOJ’s use of Section 1552(c) in Fischer, Smith would likely have to drop at least two of his four charges against Trump in the Jan. 6 case and reconstruct most of his indictment. That would create a major opening for Trump, allowing his attorneys to demand even more delays.

The Department of Justice argued that over 350 defendants have been charged under the statute with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding as a reason to keep the indictments. 

Those convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding under 1512(c) face up to 20 years in prison. 

Fischer was arrested on February 19 on seven counts, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and two other misdemeanor charges, according to reports. 

“U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols dismissed the obstruction charge reasoning that the law is meant to apply to the destruction of physical evidence or testimony rather than the congressional certification of election results.

This judge broke with 14 other trial judges who upheld prosecutors’ use of the law to prosecute rioters. Federal prosecutors challenged the ruling and a U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit decided to reinstate the charge against Fischer.” 

The Court will likely decide the case in June. 

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