The prosecution of those people who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, is, by now, completely political.
There’s little argument those who did vandalism should be prosecuted, but there have been people convicted for offenses related to that day who didn’t go into the building and weren’t even in Washington at the time.
One of the key charges presented by leftist prosecutors to leftist judges in the district has been “obstructing.”
And now the Supreme Court has begun a review of whether that was appropriate, and as a result, two “convicts” from that day have been released from jail, according to a report in the Washington Times.
The Times confirmed at least two of those defendants “got out from behind bars because the Supreme Court is reviewing the legitimacy of charging them with obstructing an official proceeding, which is one of the feds’ favorite charges for people who breached the Capitol.”
The charge, however, has been used irregularly, as Rep. Jamal Bowman, a Democrat who could be argued to have “obstructed” Congress by inappropriately setting of a fire alarm during a vote, was never charged with that offense.
The report explained that Jan. 6 defendant Joseph Fischer charged prosecutors were being overly broad in their interpretation of the law, which cites “obstructing an official proceeding.”
He accuses prosecutors of launching “hundreds” of cases based on their incorrect definition, including against President Donald Trump.
The ruling could have a wide-ranging impact on the entire prosecutorial ideology being used in Washington now, and the report said that until that decision comes down, “at least two defendants successfully petitioned for early release pending the decision.”
More are expected to file similar documents, and a few more already have.
The report explained that prosecutors have used the charge more than 300 times, out of the some 1,000 cases stemming from that day.
”At least 152 people were convicted or pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding, and more than 100 have been sentenced,” the report said.
Released already was Thomas Adams Jr., convicted of obstructing an official proceeding and sentenced to 14 months behind bars, after the judge concluded the high court could side with Fischer.
Government lawyers argued against his release, claiming his “offenses” were “of the utmost seriousness.”
Among his infractions, they charge, was that he recorded on his cellphone for several minutes before being removed by police.
The other defendant is Alexander Sheppard, who successfully petitioned for early release because of the Supreme Court’s pending decision.
There, Judge John D. Bates said, “The Court agrees with Sheppard’s contention that the Supreme Court’s grant of the cert petition raises a'substantial question’ as to the validity of his … conviction.”
The report said, “The Fischer case underscores how broadly the government applied the charge to demonstrators who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6. Mr. Fischer, a former police officer in Pennsylvania, attended President Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021. He did not immediately join the demonstration-turned-riot at the Capitol or enter the Capitol building.
”He and a companion left town briefly but later returned to the Capitol grounds and entered the building, though after the electoral vote count in Congress had been suspended. Mr. Fischer was inside the Capitol for about four minutes, according to court records.”