Supreme Court case involving January 6th protester could derail Jack Smith's prosecution

 February 19, 2024

A Supreme Court case involving a January 6th protester could blow up Jack Smith's entire prosecution of Donald Trump. 

Fischer v. United States has been overshadowed by a separate controversy concerning Trump's claim of presidential immunity, which could also head to the high court soon.

The Supreme Court is already slated to indirectly weigh some of the charges against Trump when it hears Fischer on April 16.

Defendant Joseph Fischer is one of the hundreds of Trump supporters charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, the same criminal statute cited in two out of the four counts against Trump.

Obstruction controversy

A federal judge ruled in favor of Fischer, finding the Justice Department stretched the obstruction law beyond its intended purpose.

U.S. district judge Carl Nichols ironically cited past comments from then-Senator Joe Biden to argue that the obstruction law was really about making it a crime to shred documents in the aftermath of the Enron scandal.

An appeals court reversed Nichols' ruling, setting up the Supreme Court battle.

Now, it's possible that the Supreme Court will strike down at least half of the case against Trump by rejecting the Justice Department's expansive interpretation of the obstruction charge.

Supreme Court could blow up case

Legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen told CNN the court could drive a "stake in the heart" of Smith's case.

"If they throw those out, that's going to be a stake in the heart of the Jack Smith case. It won't prevent it, but it'll make it much harder to pursue."

Smith's trial plans have already been placed in jeopardy by the separate controversy involving Trump's presidential immunity claim.

The Supreme Court's handling of that matter could potentially push the trial past the election, even if Trump loses on the merits.

Smith has pointed to a vague public interest in a timely prosecution, but he has been reluctant to say what everyone is thinking - that Smith wants a Trump conviction before Election Day.

In a dramatic filing last week, Smith urged the court to move ahead quickly and described Trump's alleged crime as a strike "at the heart of our democracy."

Trump has said the shoe is on the other foot, blasting Smith as an unhinged partisan who is weaponizing law enforcement to secure Biden's re-election.

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