U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether to Accept Appeals in Jan 6 Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to accept Jan. 6 case appeals—the most significant case being the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) questionable use of an evidence-tampering law to prosecute Jan. 6 defendants for felony obstruction of Congress. If accepted it will be the first time a Jan. 6-related case is reviewed by the Supreme Court.
The case could affect hundreds of defendants accused of the most commonly charged Jan. 6 felony, “Corruptly Obstructing an Official Proceeding.” This charge involves a potential 20-year prison term and has been charged in over 3oo cases. A number of the Jan. 6 defendants have already been convicted under the law, which had never been used in this manner since it was implemented to target corporate financial fraud in the wake of the Enron scandal.
This law addresses Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proceedings and investigations. The statute makes it clear that destroying evidence or otherwise hindering an SEC investigation is an obstruction of justice offense. DOJ has twisted this statute to “fit” January 6 cases, arguing that the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th was an “official proceeding” and that those protestors who arrived at the Capitol “obstructed” it. However, DOJ has charged this offense against people who never went into the Capitol, and who were not even in Washington.
As the Petition notes, “unsatisfied with the penalties the violation of (lesser Misdemeanor) statutes might impose, and desiring to broadcast a louder and more compelling general deterrent message, the government transformed 18 U.S.C. Section 1512(c)(2) into something well beyond what Congress had in mind when it passed a law intended to punish interference with the integrity of evidentiary proceedings. This statute not only carries with it a potential 20-year prison sentence—it sends a chilling message to anyone contemplating attendance at a political rally: Stay home. If things go wrong, you could face charges of corruptly obstructing an official proceeding.”
I also note the Due Process requirement of “fair notice” which insures that “a person of ordinary intelligence be placed on notice” of what the law prohibits was not met here regarding these Jan 6 marchers.
Fortunately, thanks to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Shreveport, LA), Americans have an opportunity to challenge Democrats’ accusation that Trump supporters broke the law when he released 44,000 hours of video tapes, providing us the definitive look at what actually happened that day.
However, some review of this video has already occurred: “Jan. 6 Video of Capitol Rioter Fist-Bumping Police Raises Questions.” (Newsweek).
Others have commented: X user Fighting For the Truth wrote, “Capitol police fist bump with J6r inside the Capitol. They were welcomed guests. Then arrested. That’s entrapment.” Podcaster and writer, Jeff Charles, wrote on X, “Capitol Police take supposed J6er aside, remove his handcuffs, then give him a fist bump. Now, why would they do this? Hmmmmm.”
Commentator Benny Johnson posted to X: “I don’t think Capitol Police would take restraints off of a protester, FIST BUMP him, and then let him go if this were an actual ‘insurrection.'” John Cremeans asserts “A Fist Bump? WTH! Capitol Police uncuff a January 6th Protestor and give him a fist bump. Something is definitely not right about the J6 Pelosi narrative.”
Writer Liz Peek of The Hill notes: “In a CNN poll conducted this past summer, only 29 percent of Republicans and right-leaning independents thought Biden’s election was legitimate, while 69 percent did not. Of the country overall, 38 percent think Biden is an illegitimate president. Given the concerted effort by the liberal media to squash such doubts and the ongoing vilification of “election-deniers,” that figure—roughly the same as it was on Jan. 6— is troubling.” (11/24/23).
The Hill article concludes: “In an era when career criminals are often released without bail, large-scale theft is tolerated and progressive district attorneys refuse to prosecute even low-level felonies, the aggressiveness of the FBI in pursuing the Jan. 6 attendees hits a nerve. Many consider it politically motivated and yet another example of what some call our “two-tiered system of justice.”
Millions of Americans have never believed the Pelosi/Left/Media narrative of what occurred on Jan 6. The large majority of the marchers that day were simply exercising their 1st Amendment right to express themselves politically. We may prayerfully hope that the Supreme Court takes judicial notice of this newly released Jan 6 evidence if it decides to hear these cases, which it should.