HomeTop StoriesSupreme Court weighs rioters' Jan. 6 obstruction challenge, which could impact Trump's...

Supreme Court weighs rioters’ Jan. 6 obstruction challenge, which could impact Trump’s case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing Tuesday whether those involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol can be charged with obstructing an official proceeding, a case that could impact the former president’s election interference prosecution . Donald Trump.

The justices are hearing an appeal filed by defendant Joseph Fischer, a former police officer who wants to drop a charge accusing him of obstructing an official proceeding, namely Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, which was disrupted by a gang of Trump. followers.

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has historically been skeptical of prosecutors when they argue for broad application of criminal law provisions.

Trump himself is accused of violating the same law, as well as conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. These are four charges he faces in his election interference case in Washington, separate from the hush-money prosecution currently underway in New York.

Tuesday’s hearing comes just a week before the Supreme Court hears Trump’s request to dismiss his election interference suit based on a claim of presidential immunity.

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Fischer and Trump both say the obstruction law does not apply to their alleged conduct, meaning the charges should be dropped.

On Jan. 6, prosecutors say, Fischer joined the mob that breached the Capitol from the east side. “Attack!” he shouted over and over again, before pressing forward towards a police line, shouting, “Motherf—–s!” says the government.

He and other rioters then fell to the ground. After other rioters rounded him up, video released as evidence in other Jan. 6 trials shows he tried to appeal to officers protecting the Capitol, telling them he was also an officer.

Fischer faces seven criminal charges, only one of which is central to the Supreme Court case. He is also charged with assaulting a police officer and entering a restricted building.

The law in question criminalizes attempts to obstruct, influence or impede an official proceeding. A conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to twenty years.

The provision was introduced in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed after Enron’s accounting scandal.

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Fischer’s attorneys say the law should be limited to circumstances involving tampering with physical evidence, which is what they claim the law aims to address.

A ruling in favor of Fischer could benefit Trump, although that is not guaranteed. Prosecutors in Trump’s case have said that even if Fischer wins, Trump’s conduct would still fall under a narrower interpretation of the statute.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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