The Supreme Court threatens to undermine Special counsel Jack Smith's case against Trump

 April 23, 2024

Special counsel Jack Smith's election interference case against former President Donald Trump may be in jeopardy thanks to the Supreme Court, Slate reported. The high court heard arguments from a participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, incident at the Capitol that undermines two of the charges against Trump.

Last week, oral arguments began in Fischer v. United States. The case centers around Joseph Fischer, who was charged with obstruction of an official Congressional proceeding.

The Supreme Court will decide whether the Department of Justice was overreaching with that charge. Some believe that the court is leaning toward siding with Fischer, which would undermine Smith's case against Trump.

The prosecutor has lobbed the same charge against Trump in the election interference case. A decision in favor of the plaintiff would mean Smith could only pursue two of the four charges currently against Trump.

The Supreme Court's Leanings

Court watchers believe the more conservative justices are sympathetic to Fischer's case. They are questioning whether he indeed violated Section 1552(c) of the Constitution, which would carry a penalty up to 20 years in jail.

The law states that a person who "corruptly… obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so" would be breaking the law. Justice Clarence Thomas seemed skeptical of this rationale in Fischer's case as a Jan. 6 protester.

"There have been many violent protests that have interfered with proceedings. Has the government applied this provision to other protests in the past?" Thomas pointedly asked.

Justice Neil Gorsuch similarly pointed to the pitfalls of applying the provision in the broadest sense, CNN reported. He posited whether the law would apply to situations such as someone who pulls a fire alarm to disrupt a vote in Congress as Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York infamously did.

Chief Justice John Roberts pushed back on the DOJ's interpretation that ignores the statute's key ingredient, which includes evidence tampering. "You can’t just tack it on and say, 'Look at it as if it’s standing alone. Because it’s not," Roberts said.

Flawed From the Start

Legal expert Jonathan Turly contends that the case against Trump's role in the so-called insurrection to overturn the 2020 election was flawed from the start. "The biggest problem for me is that the 14th Amendment, Section Three, deals with rebellion and/or insurrection," Turley told Fox News earlier this year.

"This was neither. This was a riot, and at some point, mature minds have got to kick in here and say, look, he has never even been charged with incitement, let alone rebellion and insurrection," Turley went on.

"But more importantly, putting aside the fact that he hasn't been convicted, this wasn't a rebellion or insurrection. I know that the other side has really tried hard to portray it that way, but the American people don't even view it that way," he added.

"Polls indicate that the public views this as a protest that became a riot. It doesn't excuse what happened," Turley clarified.

Smith's case against Trump is on shaky ground as it is. If the Supreme Court further chips away at the charges, Smith might find himself left only with a hollow husk of case.

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