The United States Supreme Court will hear one man’s appeal of an obstruction of an official proceeding charge brought against more than 300 people who disrupted Congress’ certification of 2020 election results on January 6th, 2021.
Defendant Joseph Fischer argues that he was not “corruptly” obstructing, influencing or impeding a proceeding before Congress when he entered the Capitol during the attack. Fischer’s argument hinges on a single statute, which he claims was meant to refer to document destruction, not conduct.
The prosecution has argued that Fischer’s actions “prevented the elected government officials from accessing and counting the certificates of electoral votes as the Electoral Count Act requires,” and that hundreds of people participated in the obstruction does not protect Fischer from the consequences.
While the appeal was brought by one defendant, the Court’s decision could impact all of those charged with obstruction. At least 152 people have been convicted at trial or pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding related to the January 6th riot, and at least 108 of them have been sentenced.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in March or April, with a decision expected by early summer.
The Court’s decision could affect the start of Trump’s trial for four counts brought against Trump in special counsel Jack Smith’s case, currently scheduled for March 4, 2024.