The Supreme Court has announced its decision to hear an appeal regarding a charge related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, a move that could have significant implications for former President Donald Trump and other defendants. The appeal pertains to a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, specifically linked to the disruption of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory over Trump. The court’s decision may influence the scheduled March 4 start of Trump’s trial, where he faces multiple counts, including conspiracy to overturn the election results. The obstruction charge, applicable to over 300 defendants, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and has been a prominent charge in the federal prosecution of individuals involved in the Capitol breach.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in March or April, with a decision expected by early summer. The case revolves around Joseph Fischer, a former Boston police officer, and two other defendants, whose obstruction charges were initially dismissed by a lower court judge. The judge ruled that the charge didn’t cover their conduct. However, the appeals court later agreed with prosecutors that the interpretation of the law by the lower court was too limited. The Supreme Court’s review will likely have broader implications for the numerous individuals facing obstruction charges in connection to the Jan. 6 events.