May 22, 2024

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The law used against Trump and the Capitol rioters was reviewed by the Supreme Court

The law used against Trump and the Capitol rioters was reviewed by the Supreme Court

A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday considered an appeal against the use of a law used to prosecute former President Donald Trump and hundreds of his supporters for taking part in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

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The right-wing candidate for the Nov. 5 presidential election is being targeted by four federal counts of illegal efforts to alter the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

It includes conspiracy against US institutions, violation of Americans' right to vote, and obstruction of official process, namely the ceremony in which the results of the presidential election are certified by Congress on January 6, 2021.

Joseph Fischer, a former police officer, is among hundreds of Mr. One of Trump's supporters. On this basis he seeks to dismiss the allegations, which Mr. That could have a domino effect on other defendants, including Trump.

A federal judge appointed by Donald Trump ordered Mr. He accepted Fischer's request, ruling that the law had been misconstrued and could only serve as a basis for prosecution of financial crimes. This decision was overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court, where six of the nine justices are conservative (including three appointed by Donald Trump), heard the case on Tuesday.

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Mr. To Jeffrey Green, Fischer's attorney, “trying to block the vote count” is “very different from altering or altering an official document.”

To which progressive Justice Sonia Sotomayor responded, using the example of a theater ban on photographing, recording or disrupting the performance of actors: “If you start yelling, no one questions that you're going to be kicked out. No photography or filming.

“It's not how you block, it's the fact that you block,” he added.

Delay the tests

Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch expressed concern about the law's potential application, asking if it could be a bar to, for example, “a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal court” and “a protester that disrupts today's trial.”

“Are those all federal crimes punishable by 20 years in prison?”

For U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Prilocher, these examples are incomparable to the events of January 6.

“This is fundamentally different than when they besieged this courthouse, eluding the Supreme Court police and forcing judges and participants to flee for their safety,” he said, describing the chaos at the Capitol. .

According to him, Mr. Fischer “acted specifically to prevent Congress from voting on this practice”.

He noted that 1,350 people were charged with the attack on the Capitol, but only 350 for preventing it.

The Supreme Court must issue a ruling by the end of its session in June, months ahead of a presidential election that pits Donald Trump against Joe Biden again.

Regarding the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Trump's election interference trial was scheduled to begin on March 4, but has been postponed indefinitely pending a Supreme Court ruling on his criminal immunity as a former president.

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The country's Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict by the end of June.

Obstructing official proceedings is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Trump faces four felony charges as he seeks to return to the White House. Jury selection began Monday in the New York trial of ex-porn star Stormy Daniels in connection with allegations she made payments to buy her silence, days before the 2016 election.

This is the first time in US history that a former president has faced criminal charges.

After leaving the White House, Donald Trump has been accused of negligent handling of classified documents and has been indicted by the Georgia state justice system for acts related to election interference.

The former president blames his legal problems on Joe Biden's Democratic administration, repeatedly calling it a “witch hunt.”

His lawyers have repeatedly tried to delay his various hearings until after the November election.