Supreme Court to hear appeal that could undo Capitol riot charges

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge that could undo hundreds of charges relating to the Capitol riot on 6 January 2021.

On Wednesday, it said its justices would review the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Some 300 people have been charged with that statute for alleged crimes committed during the Capitol riot.

Former President Donald Trump is also charged with that count in the federal investigation being led by Jack Smith.

The top court’s eventual decision could upend all of those charges and potentially delay the start of Mr Trump’s trial on 4 March.

The man who brought the appeal, Joseph Fischer, says the law has been applied incorrectly against people charged over their involvement in the riot.

Federal prosecutors say Mr Fischer was one of thousands who participated in the attack on Congress to prevent it from carrying out the certification of the 2020 election results.

He claims that the law, which was created in the wake of an accounting scandal in 2002 to prevent corporate malfeasance during trials, has been unreasonably stretched to apply to those charged over the violence.

Lawyers for Mr Fischer say those who stormed the Capitol were not acting “corruptly” as the law demands. Instead, they say rioters were protesting what they honestly believed to be a stolen election.

But the justice department has argued that an “official proceeding” could refer to a proceeding of Congress.

Source: BBC

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