Trump loyalists in Congress to challenge Electoral College results in Jan. 6 joint session (Update: Insurrectionists storm Congress)(And now what?) (1 Viewer)

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    superchuck500

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    I guess it's time to start a thread for this. We know that at least 140 members of Congress have pledged to join the objection. Under federal law, if at least one member of each house (HOR and Senate) objects, each house will adjourn the joint session for their own session (limited at two hours) to take up the objection. If both houses pass a resolution objecting to the EC result, further action can take place. If both houses do not (i.e. if one or neither passes a resolution), the objection is powerless and the college result is certified.

    Clearly this is political theater as we know such a resolution will not pass the House, and there's good reason to think it wouldn't pass the Senate either (with or without the two senators from Georgia). The January 6 joint session is traditionally a ceremonial one. This one will not be.

    Many traditional pillars of Republican support have condemned the plan as futile and damaging. Certainly the Trump loyalists don't care - and many are likely doing it for fundraising purposes or to carry weight with the fraction of their constituencies that think this is a good idea.


     
    Federal judges have begun ordering the early release pending appeal of Jan. 6 defendants who challenged their sentences even though the Supreme Court is a week away from hearing arguments on whether a key charge brought against them is legally sound.


    A Delaware man who carried a Confederate flag into the Capitol will be let go one year into his three-year term.

    An Ohio man who overran police lines and became one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol will be set free six months into a 19-month term.

    And a man who entered the just-evacuated Senate chamber with a Trump flag as a cape was released after serving five months of a 14-month term.

    If the Supreme Court ultimately determines the charge they faced was legitimate, they and others who are released early pending appeal could be ordered to return to prison — but that is not a certainty.


    The truncated sentences are the latest complications in the prosecution of more than 350 Jan. 6 defendants under a federal statute that makes it a crime to obstruct or impede an official proceeding — in this case, Congress’s joint session to confirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory……..

     
    The US supreme court expressed concern on Tuesday with prosecutors using an obstruction statute to charge hundreds of January 6 Capitol riot defendants, with the justices leaning towards a position that could jeopardize those prosecutions and the criminal case against Donald Trump.

    The Trump case was not mentioned at the argument. But a decision curtailing the use of the obstruction statute in connection with the Capitol attack could eliminate two of the four chargesagainst the former president.

    The case, which on its face involves a January 6 riot defendant named Joseph Fischer, became of sudden importance last year after Trump was also charged with obstruction of an official proceeding over his efforts to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.


    At issue is whether the obstruction statute passed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 in the wake of the Enron scandal could be used to prosecute general instances of obstruction, or whether it was intended to be used more narrowly for evidence tampering or document destruction.

    If the supreme court decides that section 1512(c) of title 18 of the US criminal code was being used too broadly, it could cripple part of the case against Trump as the special counsel Jack Smith looks to draw a line at trial from the former president’s January 6 speech to the violence.

    And if the court moved to strike down the use of the obstruction statute, it could undercut the remaining conspiracy statutes used in the indictment against Trump.

    The US solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, arguing for the justice department, found herself repeatedly pressed on those points by the justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas – and John Roberts, the chief justice.…..

     
    The US supreme court expressed concern on Tuesday with prosecutors using an obstruction statute to charge hundreds of January 6 Capitol riot defendants, with the justices leaning towards a position that could jeopardize those prosecutions and the criminal case against Donald Trump.

    The Trump case was not mentioned at the argument. But a decision curtailing the use of the obstruction statute in connection with the Capitol attack could eliminate two of the four chargesagainst the former president.

    The case, which on its face involves a January 6 riot defendant named Joseph Fischer, became of sudden importance last year after Trump was also charged with obstruction of an official proceeding over his efforts to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.


    At issue is whether the obstruction statute passed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 in the wake of the Enron scandal could be used to prosecute general instances of obstruction, or whether it was intended to be used more narrowly for evidence tampering or document destruction.

    If the supreme court decides that section 1512(c) of title 18 of the US criminal code was being used too broadly, it could cripple part of the case against Trump as the special counsel Jack Smith looks to draw a line at trial from the former president’s January 6 speech to the violence.

    And if the court moved to strike down the use of the obstruction statute, it could undercut the remaining conspiracy statutes used in the indictment against Trump.

    The US solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, arguing for the justice department, found herself repeatedly pressed on those points by the justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas – and John Roberts, the chief justice.…..

    They have lost the plot, IMO. Just agenda-driven. And Thomas should be nowhere near this case.
     
    They have lost the plot, IMO. Just agenda-driven. And Thomas should be nowhere near this case.
    Not saying you're wrong, but they haven't issued a ruling yet, and I have heard some decent arguments for why the particular statute shouldn't apply to the January 6th incident. They seem pretty persuasive to me. Even if they can't use this, the prosecutors can use other statutes to charge these people.

    I'd hope SCOTUS lets the lower court rulings stand here, but it won't be the end of the world if they don't. There's bigger fish to fry anyway.
     
    Not saying you're wrong, but they haven't issued a ruling yet, and I have heard some decent arguments for why the particular statute shouldn't apply to the January 6th incident. They seem pretty persuasive to me. Even if they can't use this, the prosecutors can use other statutes to charge these people.

    I'd hope SCOTUS lets the lower court rulings stand here, but it won't be the end of the world if they don't. There's bigger fish to fry anyway.
    I’m just going by commentary of people who listened to the oral arguments today. Several that I read said it was obvious that the conservatives were looking for any reason to throw those charges out. And I still think Thomas should be nowhere near any Jan 6 case ever.
     
    I’m just going by commentary of people who listened to the oral arguments today. Several that I read said it was obvious that the conservatives were looking for any reason to throw those charges out. And I still think Thomas should be nowhere near any Jan 6 case ever.
    Sure, none of that is unexpected. I'm just thinking what I what realistic expectations should be. Will be interesting to see how the court rules.
     
    more on this
    =========

    ..........Before we dig into any of the individual justices’ views on this case, it’s helpful to be familiar with the full text of the statute at issue in Fischer. It provides that:

    (c) Whoever corruptly—
    (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or
    (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
    Green’s primary argument is that subsection (1)’s language referring to records or documents carries through to subsection (2). So even though subsection (2) is written broadly to bar any effort to obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding, it should be limited to only apply to obstructions involving documents or other forms of “evidence tampering.”

    Needless to say, this is not how the English language typically works. And only two justices — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh — expressed much sympathy for this reading of the law.

    As Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out early in the argument, if there is a sign in a theatre that reads, “You will be kicked out of the theatre if you photograph or record the actors, or otherwise disrupt the performance,” no one would be surprised if an audience member is kicked out if they start yelling. It would be nonsensical to read this sign to only forbid photography or recording.

    Yet, while it is hard to read the obstruction law in a way that doesn’t apply to rioters who invaded a government building for the purpose of disrupting the election certification process — forcing the entire Congress to flee for safety — many of the justices were concerned with other, hypothetical cases where this law might be used to target less troubling activity.

    As Alito put it at one point, “What happened on January 6 was very, very serious,” but we need to figure out the “outer reaches” of the statute.

    And so Prelogar faced a blizzard of hypothetical applications of the obstruction statutes, along with vague allegations that the government was applying the law selectively to pro-Trump rioters. Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, asked her if this law has ever been applied to a violent protest in the past (Prelogar conceded that it has not, but attributed that to the fact that the January 6 attack is unprecedented).

    Meanwhile, several justices expressed concerns about people being charged with a felony for what Alito called “minor impediments,” such as if a heckler forced a proceeding to be delayed for a few minutes or if street protesters made it more difficult for members of Congress to drive to the Capitol. The concern appeared to be that people who engage in minimally disruptive political protests could be charged with a very serious felony.


    There are several potential ways out of this trap. Prelogar pointed out that the statute prohibits behavior that “obstructs” a proceeding, and a minimal disruption might not rise to that level — though that theory did little to quiet the many skeptical questions she received.............

     
    more on this
    =========

    ..........Before we dig into any of the individual justices’ views on this case, it’s helpful to be familiar with the full text of the statute at issue in Fischer. It provides that:


    Green’s primary argument is that subsection (1)’s language referring to records or documents carries through to subsection (2). So even though subsection (2) is written broadly to bar any effort to obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding, it should be limited to only apply to obstructions involving documents or other forms of “evidence tampering.”

    Needless to say, this is not how the English language typically works. And only two justices — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh — expressed much sympathy for this reading of the law.

    As Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out early in the argument, if there is a sign in a theatre that reads, “You will be kicked out of the theatre if you photograph or record the actors, or otherwise disrupt the performance,” no one would be surprised if an audience member is kicked out if they start yelling. It would be nonsensical to read this sign to only forbid photography or recording.

    Yet, while it is hard to read the obstruction law in a way that doesn’t apply to rioters who invaded a government building for the purpose of disrupting the election certification process — forcing the entire Congress to flee for safety — many of the justices were concerned with other, hypothetical cases where this law might be used to target less troubling activity.

    As Alito put it at one point, “What happened on January 6 was very, very serious,” but we need to figure out the “outer reaches” of the statute.

    And so Prelogar faced a blizzard of hypothetical applications of the obstruction statutes, along with vague allegations that the government was applying the law selectively to pro-Trump rioters. Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, asked her if this law has ever been applied to a violent protest in the past (Prelogar conceded that it has not, but attributed that to the fact that the January 6 attack is unprecedented).

    Meanwhile, several justices expressed concerns about people being charged with a felony for what Alito called “minor impediments,” such as if a heckler forced a proceeding to be delayed for a few minutes or if street protesters made it more difficult for members of Congress to drive to the Capitol. The concern appeared to be that people who engage in minimally disruptive political protests could be charged with a very serious felony.


    There are several potential ways out of this trap. Prelogar pointed out that the statute prohibits behavior that “obstructs” a proceeding, and a minimal disruption might not rise to that level — though that theory did little to quiet the many skeptical questions she received.............

    The beginning of the statute qualifies the whole thing with corrupt intent. The vast majority of protesters to causes are not doing it for corrupt intent. Many of the Jan 6th rioters were trying to corruptly stop the congressional vote to prevent the transfer of power.
     
    An active-duty service member who was convicted for his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol is now pleading for home confinement, rather than probation, so that he's allowed to remain in the Navy.

    Leading Petty Officer David Elizalde urged the judge to sentence him to two weeks of home detention, as well as community service and restitution. The rules of home detention would allow Elizalde to continue working during the week.

    In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, Elizalde's attorney, Stephen Brennwald, said he was told by a Navy officer that sailors on probation couldn't remain in the military. The officer also told Brennwald that a maximum amount of time a service member could be on home detention was 30 to 60 days, he said.

    "Imposing a period of probation in this unusual case could, and likely would, be fatal to Mr. Elizalde's continued service in the Navy," Brennwald wrote in the memo.

    Elizalde has served in the Navy for 17 years. On Jan. 6, 2021, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman as an aviation structural mechanic. He traveled from southeastern Virginia into Washington, D.C., that day and joined the crowd outside the Capitol, purchasing a "Veterans for Trump" flag on the way, according to court documents.

    Elizalde watched and recorded as rioters assaulted Capitol police officers, and he went inside the Capitol building, where he remained for 28 minutes, the documents say. During a December 2021 interview with the FBI, Elizalde said he made a bad decision on Jan. 6, but he viewed it as a historic event that he'd be proud to tell people about in the future.

    "I know when all this is past and gone, ten years from now, twenty years from now, I know people are going to be talking about it," Elizalde told authorities at the time. "And they're going to be like, ‘Hey, were you there?' And I was going to be like, ‘Yes and here's my story,' you know? It was just historical."............

    Elizalde was convicted at trial last year of one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. He's expected to receive his sentence Friday.

    The Justice Department recommended Elizalde receive three years of probation and 60 hours of community service. The department also asked the judge to sentence Elizalde to 30 days of intermittent confinement, meaning he would be incarcerated during nights, weekends or at other intervals.

    In a memo filed last month by the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney Michael Graves claimed that Elizalde had not expressed any remorse, and he pointed to Elizalde's military service as an especially troubling factor in the case.

    "As an active-duty naval serviceman ... Elizalde was well aware that unauthorized persons do not have the right to enter restricted government grounds or buildings, especially not as part of an angry mob," Graves wrote.

    "His voluntary decision to storm a guarded government building is disturbing in light of his current oath to protect and defend the country and our constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true allegiance to the same."............

     
    Anyone watching this? Dude or someone set himself on fire outside the courthouse. CNN was live when it happened across the street from them. Crazy.
    going down rabbit holes with these conspiracy theories is some crazy stuff. people get sucked into them.. its crazy,,..
     
    but, you have to admit, it will get the attention of a lot of people..

    It did get attention, but I'm surprised is wasn't covered more intensely by more news sources after it happened. There was the initial reporting that was shocking, but not a whole lot of follow up or focus afterwards.

    Maybe newsrooms have some policy in place on coverage of such events in order to not encourage others to engage in it.
     
    It did get attention, but I'm surprised is wasn't covered more intensely by more news sources after it happened. There was the initial reporting that was shocking, but not a whole lot of follow up or focus afterwards.

    Maybe newsrooms have some policy in place on coverage of such events in order to not encourage others to engage in it.
    Yes, it's pretty much the same reason networks won't show streakers on televised sporting events.
     
    From 12 years recommended down to 2?
    ============================

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Kentucky man who stormed the U.S. Capitol while carrying a Confederate battle flag was sentenced on Monday to more than two years in prison for pepper spraying two police officers in the face, partially blinding them for hours during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.

    Isreal Easterday was 19 years old when he joined a mob of Donald Trump supporters in invading the Capitol. He used pepper spray to assault two Capitol police officers who were separately guarding the East Rotunda Doors.

    Chief Judge James Boasberg cited Easterday’s youth as a reason for handing down a prison term — two years and six months — that was over five times lower than the Justice Department’s initial sentencing recommendation.

    The judge said Easterday, who was homeschooled by his mother while living on a family farm, “may not have fully appreciated what was going on there” at the Capitol on Jan. 6 or recognized that the Confederate flag is a “symbol of rebellion.”

    “January 6th was no less than an intent and an effort to replace by force who our country had voted for,” Boasberg said. “The mob was there because it hadn’t achieved what it wanted to at the ballot box.”

    Easterday tearfully apologized to the officers whom he assaulted. He said he accepts responsibility for his actions on Jan. 6 and is “deeply ashamed” of himself.

    At the conclusion of the hearing, Boasberg ordered Easterday to be detained to immediately begin serving his sentence. Some of Easterday’s supporters embraced each other as he was led out of the courtroom.

    “I will not let you down,” Easterday told the judge after learning his sentence.

    Prosecutors initially recommended sentencing Easterday to 12 years and seven months in prison. During the hearing, a prosecutor advocated for a sentence of 11 years and three months to reflect the court’s lower calculation of sentencing guidelines.............

     
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