Appeals judges rule trial courts blundered in hundreds of J6 sentences

Capitol Police stand with protesters during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Capitol Police stand with protesters during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021

A federal appeals court has ruled judges across the Washington, D.C., judiciary, largely leftists in the leftist enclave, blundered when they sentenced possibly hundreds of January 6 defendants using a special procedure to enhance their sentences that was improper.

A report from the Washington Examiner explained there are “potentially hundreds” of defendants who will have to be resentenced, without the mistake.

It is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that said the lower courts’ decisions to claim repeatedly that the defendants, some of whom were charged for entering the Capitol building through open doors, some of whom actually rioted, were interfering with the “administration of justice” were wrong.

Many of those people were there to object to the certification of Joe Biden as president following the 2020 election, which evidence now confirms was suspect.

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For example, never before in American elections had a sum of money like the $400 million plus that Mark Zuckerberg handed out to elections officials been an influence. And that money was entirely outside the ordinary campaign funding programs that are monitored.

Further, the FBI interfered by telling media corporations to suppress accurate reporting about Biden family scandals revealed in a laptop computer abandoned by Hunter Biden. A subsequent polling showed had those details been routinely reported, enough voters would have withdrawn their support for Biden so that he almost assuredly would have lost to President Trump.

The Examiner explained a three-judge panel on the court refused to accept the Justice Department’s claim in an appeal involving defendant Larry Brock.

He was ordered jailed for two years for obstructing congressional proceedings.

At the trial level, Judge John Bates ruled on his sentence by including claims that his penalty should be enhanced because he interfered with the administration of justice.

“Brock’s interference with one stage of the electoral college vote-counting process — while no doubt endangering our democratic processes and temporarily derailing Congress’s constitutional work — did not interfere with the ‘administration of justice,'” ordered Circuit Judge Patricia Millett in the decision.

Judges Cornelia Pillard and Judith Rogers joined in the unanimous result.

The Examiner explained, “The judges took into account the ‘multi-step’ process of certifying Electoral College votes, finding that the vote counting was just one portion of an otherwise lengthy process to affirm the results of the 2020 election. They effectively said that counting the votes in Congress that day did not meet the definition of ‘administration of justice,’ and, therefore, anyone sentenced for participating in the riot should not face additional penalties for interfering with it.”

The report noted that it remains unclear immediately how many cases will be affected, although some 330 defendants were charged with obstruction under a statute known as Section 1512(c)(2).

That separate issue still remains pending before the high court.

But the Examiner reported William Shipley, a lawyer representing multiple January 6 defendants, confirmed the problem now is “potentially huge.”

“But it will be meaningless if the Supreme Court throws out 1512 in the Fischer case,” Shipley added.

That, he said, could overturn obstruction counts and enhancements for “every defendant” sentenced under that provision, the report said.

He predicted what likely will happen is possibly a “flood of motions for release pending appeal.”

The Examiner report noted President Trump is among the defendants facing such a count, after special counsel Jack Smith launched his legal campaign against Trump.

Trump’s lawyers already have contended in court the application was inappropriate.

The “indictment takes a statute directed at the destruction of records in accounting fraud and applies it to disputing the outcome of a presidential election. This stretches the statutory language beyond any plausible mooring to its text,” they told the court.

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