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Justices To Hear Capitol Riot Case, Which Could Void Trump Charge

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday said it will hear an appeal that could upend hundreds of charges stemming from the 2021 Capitol riot, including against former President Trump. The justices will review an appellate ruling that revived a charge against three defendants accused of obstruction of an official proceeding, reports the Associated Press. The charge refers to the disruption of Congress’ certification of Joe Biden's 2020 election vistory over Trump. That’s among four counts brought against Trump in special counsel Jack Smith's case that accuses the 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner of conspiring to overturn the results of his election loss. Trump is also charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

The court’s decision to weigh in on the obstruction charge could threaten the start of Trump’s trial, scheduled for March 4. The justices separately are considering whether to rule quickly on Trump’s claim that he can’t be prosecuted for actions taken within his role as president. A federal judge has rejected that argument. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in March or April, with a decision expected by early summer. The obstruction charge has been brought against more than 300 defendants and is among the most widely used felony charges brought in the massive federal prosecution over the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. At least 152 people have been convicted at trial or pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding, and at least 108 of them have been sentenced. , according to an Associated Press review of court records.

A lower court judge had dismissed the charge against Joseph Fischer, a former Pennsylvania police officer, and two other defendants, ruling it didn’t cover their conduct.


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