Julie Kelly: Silence of GOP governors, AGs on J6 prosecutions ‘can never be forgotten’

by WorldTribune Staff, June 13, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

In an April hearing, the conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court’s questioned the Department of Justice on its use of an obscure federal obstruction statute related to white collar crime passed after the Enron accounting scandal to prosecute hundreds of J6 defendants who entered the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

U.S. Supreme Court / Wikimedia Commons

The hearing was in an appeal from former Pennsylvania police officer Joseph Fischer, who had attended President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally and later entered the Capitol building for about three minutes.

Fischer asked the justices to dismiss prosecutors’ efforts to charge him under the criminal statute 1512(c)(2) that makes it a crime to shred documents or in “other ways” obstruct “any official proceeding” and carries a 20 year maximum prison sentence.

As the Supreme Court nears a decision in the case, investigative journalist Julie Kelly noted that Republican attorney generals and governors have seemingly abandoned their constituents who were charged under the obscure statute.

Related: Supreme Court to decide on key felony used to charge J6 defendants, including Trump, October 15, 2023

“Just again reviewed Fischer docket at SCOTUS,” Kelly wrote on Facebook. “Not a single Republican AG or governor filed an amicus brief in the matter.”

Kelly continued: “If the appellate ruling in Fischer is reversed, meaning the court overturns how DOJ applied 1512c2 in Jan 6 cases, it will mean hundreds of their constituents were wrongfully prosecuted and 100+ wrongly convicted of a felony.”

Kelly concluded: “The silence by Republican AGs and governors as this entire J6 prosecution proceeded can never be forgotten.”

In December, William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, one of the 327 defendants slapped with the obstruction charge, wrote on X: “The tide has turned. The Supreme Court taking up the obstruction of an official proceeding appeal is a clear message to the DOJ that government extremism has gone too far; that more than three hundred Americans, including President Trump, myself, and many currently in prison, were wrongfully charged.”

Pope dded: “Sadly, the DOJ has for the last three years used the obstruction charge — which the Supreme Court is now primed to throw out — to pressure January 6 defendants into taking bad plea deals. The outcomes of many cases would be far different if not for this DOJ malpractice.”

Marina Medvin, a defense attorney who co-authored a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the challenge of the DOJ’s prosecutions, said the 327 cases at issue should never have been felonies.

“If the case turns in favor of the defendants, this will be life-altering for hundreds of people who were unjustly persecuted for a felony offense instead of the misdemeanor that was crafted by Congress for the trespass behavior at issue,” Medvin wrote on X.

Defense attorney Joseph McBride said the novel use of §1512(c)(2) by the DOJ is rooted in “corruption and political hatred.”

“For the love of God, what do the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and election-related protests have to do with each other?” McBride said in a statement to The Epoch Times, referring to the 2002 act that created the 1512 statute. “I’ll tell you, absolutely nothing. Were protestors running around capturing ballots or shredding documents to obstruct an official proceeding on January 6, 2021? No, they most certainly were not. So how is it that a law designed to prosecute white-collar document shredders was applied to a bunch of blue-collar J6 protestors?”

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