The Supreme Court of the United States is currently considering the appeals of three January 6th protestors charged with “obstructing an official proceeding,” the same charge that former President Donald J. Trump is facing. This development could indirectly intervene in Trump’s own case, potentially leading to a delay in his trial.
The three individuals, Joseph Fischer, Edward Lang, and Garret Miller, have argued that the charge against them is an over-extension of 18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2), a law created in 2002 to address the destruction of evidence in the Enron scandal. In their appeal, they claim that this law should not apply to their actions during the January 6th protests, which they maintain were a form of protest and not an attempt to tamper with evidence.
Donald J. Trump’s attorneys have also challenged the use of this law in his case. In a separate filing, they argued that the law was never intended for situations like the January 6th protests, and that applying it to Trump’s actions “stretches the statutory language beyond any plausible mooring.”
Former federal prosecutor and law school professor Randall Eliason explains that if the Supreme Court does agree to hear these appeals, it could potentially delay Trump’s own trial. He also notes that the ruling is likely to come before June, which still leaves enough time for Trump’s trial to start before the 2024 election.
This could be a significant development in Trump’s case, as it could give the conservative-leaning Supreme Court an opportunity to intervene and potentially dismiss the charges against him. This could also be seen as a positive development for Trump, as any delay in the trial could push the proceedings beyond the 2024 election, effectively eliminating the possibility of him being tried while in office.
Back in August, when the indictment from Jack Smith was first announced, Trump took to his newly launched social media platform Truth Social to express his frustration. He claimed that the charges, along with other lawsuits filed against him, were a form of “election interference” and that the Supreme Court must intervene. This recent development may be seen as a step towards Trump’s wishes being fulfilled.
Overall, the Supreme Court’s consideration of these appeals in the January 6th related cases could have significant implications for Trump’s own trial. If the court ultimately decides to intervene and dismiss the charges against these individuals, it could potentially have a similar effect on Trump’s case. However, the decision is not expected to come until after the June deadline set by Judge Beryl A. Howell for Trump’s trial to begin, and it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will rule on this matter.