Supreme Court Rules in Favor of January 6 Defendant

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Max Power

Max Power is the Editor-in-Chief of Undoing Time.  You can reach him at or by calling 866-664-3052


Supreme Court Justices

The Supreme Court issued a decision on Friday in favor of Joseph Fischer, a defendant charged in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot who contested Indictment for a Federal obstruction offense related to alleged election interference. You can read the opinion HERE:

Joseph Fischer v. United States, Docket # 23-5572

In a 6-3 ruling, the Court adopted a narrower interpretation of a federal law that assigns criminal responsibility to individuals who corruptly “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal” records, documents, or other objects, intending to impair their integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding.

The decision overturned a previous ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which the Supreme Court criticized for encompassing actions that included peaceful but disruptive conduct. The case is now remanded to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court’s interpretation.

Joseph Fischer, one of many charged by the Justice Department with “obstruction of an official proceeding” related to the Capitol riot, initiated the Supreme Court challenge. His legal team argued that the federal statute was incorrectly applied, typically reserved for evidence-tampering scenarios.

The Justice Department countered that Fischer’s actions were a deliberate effort to hinder Congress from certifying the 2020 election results, justifying their use of the statute, which carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison for behavior that obstructs or influences official proceedings.

Chief Justice John Roberts disagreed, asserting that the Government’s expansive interpretation exceeded the statute’s intent. He emphasized that to convict someone of “obstruction,” the government must demonstrate that the defendant specifically impaired the availability or integrity of records, documents, or objects for use in an official proceeding, or attempted to do so.

This decision will likely have an impact on the ongoing prosecution of President Donald Trump, who is currently charged with the same offense in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The case is Joseph Fischer v. United States, Docket # 23-5572. The opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Jackson. Justice Jackson wrote a concurring opinion. Justice Barrett dissented, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan.


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Supreme Court, Joseph Fischer, January 6, Jan 6 riot, Donald Trump, Election Interference


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