Supreme Court Ruling Sends SHOCKWAVES Through Biden's DOJ

Supreme Court Ruling Sends SHOCKWAVES Through Biden's DOJ

A Supreme Court decision has significantly impacted President Joe Biden's Department of Justice.

Just hours after the Supreme Court restricted the obstruction charges used against January 6 defendants, trial judges have begun reopening some cases, as reported by The Hill.

"The federal judge who oversaw the case against Guy Reffitt — the first rioter convicted by a jury — ordered Reffitt’s attorneys and the Justice Department (DOJ) to propose a schedule for ‘further proceedings’ in light of the justices’ decision by July 5, signaling a resentencing is imminent," the report stated.

"Reffitt was convicted on five counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding. The charge, stemming from Section 1512(c)(2), makes it a crime to ‘corruptly’ obstruct, impede or interfere with official inquiries and investigations by Congress. It carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and has been used to prosecute more than 350 rioters accused of interrupting Congress’s certification of the 2020 electoral vote," the report continued.

Of all the convicted rioters or those who took plea deals, 50 were sentenced solely on the obstruction charge.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Langhorne Friedrich, appointed by former President Donald Trump, is the judge in Reffitt’s case and has directed several other cases to be reopened to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision.

"Other rioters took plea deals involving the charge, like Tennessee native Ronald Sandlin, whom prosecutors said traveled to Washington in a rental car packed with two pistols, two magazines of ammunition, cans of bear mace and other gear. His case was reopened Friday," the report noted.

"The Supreme Court’s decision could also cause one of the most notorious rioters from the Capitol attack to face prosecution again, the DOJ signaled in recent court filings: Jacob Chansley, dubbed the ‘QAnon Shaman,’" it added.

"Chansley pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and was sentenced to 41 months in prison without a trial. He was released early last year, but in recent court filings, prosecutors said the Supreme Court’s decision ‘may create a situation where evidence must be preserved and Defendant tried,’ not expanding further on the matter," it mentioned.

In a ruling that might benefit former President Donald Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Friday to support a former police officer seeking to dismiss an obstruction charge against him for his involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Joseph Fischer, one of hundreds of defendants, including Trump, charged with impeding an official proceeding over the attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory, won the case by a 6-3 vote by the court.

The law, which was passed in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in response to the Enron accounting scandal, the court determined, was meant to be applicable in specific situations involving the altering of physical evidence.

To continue the discussion on whether the Justice Department may still prosecute Fischer in light of the revised legal understanding, the court returned the matter to lower courts.

The relevant provision, 18 U.S. Code 1512, imposes a maximum 20-year prison penalty.

"To what extent the ruling favors Trump remains to be seen. Even if Fischer prevails in the case against Trump, prosecutors claimed that a stricter interpretation of the law would still apply to Trump’s actions. Fischer faces seven criminal charges, only one of which was the focus of the Supreme Court case. Even if the obstruction charge is ultimately dismissed, the other charges, including assaulting a police officer and entering a restricted building, will remain in place," NBC News reported.

"The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has in the past been skeptical of prosecutors when they assert broad applications of criminal provisions. In his election interference case, Trump faces four charges, including one count of obstructing an official proceeding and another of conspiracy to do so," the outlet added.

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