In yet another attempt to let hundreds of Trump supporters off the hook for trying to violently overthrow our democracy, a Trump-appointed federal judge ruled that they can’t be charged with obstructing Congress.
Judge Carl Nichols clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife was deeply involved with the events of January 6th and the scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 Election. Nichols was also appointed to the U.S. District Court by Donald Trump, who incited the insurrection that day.
And just like a good toady, Nichols is working to hinder the Justice Department’s prosecution of the hundreds of insurrectionists who have been arrested for their role on January 6th.
The Washington Post reports that Nichols ruled on Monday “that the Justice Department cannot charge Jan. 6 defendants with obstructing Congress’s certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory unless the defendants tampered with official documents or records in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
Except that the defendants were trying to obstruct Congress’s certification of the election. They violently stormed the Capitol over the course of several hours to try and get their hands on the electoral documents. If they had been destroyed, the states would have had to resend them and who knows what shenanigans would have taken place. They also intended to assassinate lawmakers along the way. Their actions delayed certification of the election results for hours as lawmakers sought to escape the building or had to hide.
Nichols’ ruling also “broke with at least seven other U.S. trial judges in Washington who have ruled that prosecutors can use the obstruction charge in Capitol riot cases.”
This puts hundreds of cases at risk and would surely delay their trials. The ruling also ignores what the law says, a common trait of Republican judges these days.
Legal experts criticized Nichols’ ruling, which should be considered an act of judicial sabotage.
DOJ will likely appeal judge’s dismissal of obstruction charge, a decision that’s contrary to the plain language of the statute and prior decisions by 7 other judges, but the decision will delay DOJ’s work to hold Jan 6 defendants accountable. https://t.co/a3y9650Nzq
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) March 8, 2022
This ruling, which seems contrary to the plain language of the statute & conflicts with other judges’ rulings has serious implications if applied to yesterday’s indictment of the Proud Boy’s Tarrio. He’s charged with conspiracy under the same provision. https://t.co/oiHJxVyba6
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 9, 2022
Nichols should have recused himself from hearing any cases involving Trump and his supporters. He’s clearly biased and cares more about helping Trump destroy the country than he is about actual justice.
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