Former federal prosecutor says Supreme Court ruling 'is great news' for Trump

 June 30, 2024

Special Counsel Jack Smith won applause from Democrats last year for indicting former President Donald Trump on charges related to his conduct following the 2020 election.

However, Smith's chances at securing a conviction against Trump may have been dealt a crushing blow last week after the Supreme Court intervened. 

Court rules on use of post-Enron law in January 6 case

According to Newsweek, that move came on Friday with its decision in Joseph Fischer v. United States, which concerned a former Pennsylvania police officer named Joseph Fischer who entered the Capitol on January 6, 2020.

The defendant was charged with obstruction of an official proceeding under legislation passed following the Enron financial scandal more than two decades ago.

Fischer maintained that the law was never intended to cover conduct such as his, a position with which America's highest judicial body agreed.

A majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that the charge can only apply to circumstances that involve tampering with physical evidence.

Newsweek noted on Saturday that the decision will impact hundreds of January 6-related cases, with Trump's being the most prominent.

Former federal prosecutor says "ruling is great news for Trump"

Trump faces a total of four criminal charges in Washington, D.C., including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding and another count of conspiracy to do the same.

Although Smith has stated that Friday's Supreme Court ruling does not negate the two charges, some legal observers say it will still create headaches for the special counsel.

They include former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who told Newsweek, "The Fischer ruling is great news for Trump, just one day after his decisive win in the presidential debate."

He explained that the decision opens up the possibility for more delays which will further reduce any chance that Trump's case will go to a jury before this year's presidential election.

Smith may drop obstruction charges to avoid dismissal

"Trump has been very litigious in his criminal cases, challenging and appealing many of the charges," Rahmani said of the former president.

What's more, Rahmani suggested that the Department of Justice Department may drop the obstruction charges so as "to avoid the possibility of dismissal and guaranteed delays in the case."

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