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Politics: U.s. Supreme Court Could Alter The Shape Of The

POLITICS: U.S. Supreme Court Could Alter the Shape of the Presidency, and Hundreds of Lives, This Week – One America News Network

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OAN’s Daniel Baldwin

June 18, 2024

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All eyes will be on the U.S. Supreme Court this Thursday and Friday. The High Court is headed into its final few weeks, and it has not issued decisions on numerous cases it has heard. Most notably, Americans are awaiting rulings on Fischer v. USA and Trump v. USA.

Fischer v. USA is a case in which Joseph Fischer, a January 6th defendant, claims the Department of Justice has inappropriately applied an obstruction felony charge. Fischer attended the January 6th protest and was charged with seven felony counts, one of which was 18 U.S.C. § 1512c(2). That reads, “Whoever corruptly alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols ruled in Fischer’s favor, dismissing the obstruction charge. Yet that decision was reversed by the D.C. Court of Appeals in April 2023. This specific obstruction charge stems from the Sarbanes Oxley Act passed in June 2022 in the aftermath of Enron’s financial scandal that involved the physical destruction of documents.

Paul Kamenar, counsel for the National Legal and Policy Center, told One America News back in April 2024 that this obstruction statute was never intended to be used the way the Biden DOJ has implemented it.

“What was the intent of the statute? To go after companies, Enron, who are destroying documents when they know that they’re under investigation by the SEC or the Justice Department for doing criminal activity,” Kamenar said. “And they start deleting things, and they start telling their employees, ‘Hey, don’t talk to the government.’ You’re obstructing an investigation. And so this statute was never intended to cover this kind of a peaceful protest in front of the Capitol that admittedly turned into a rioting kind of a thing.”

More than 300 J6 defendants have been charged with 18 U.S.C. § 1512c(2). Some defendants charged with this felony never even stepped foot in the Capitol building on January 6th. Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman” pleaded guilty to the felony obstruction count after spending more than 300 days in solitary confinement. A federal judge sentenced him to 41 months in jail. If the SCOTUS rules in Fischer’s favor, it could result in hundreds of J6 cases getting thrown out. 

Two of the four counts in President Donald Trump’s own federal indictment involve 18 U.S.C. § 1512c(2). But Trump is also the subject of a separate high profile case that will alter the shape of the presidency. SCOTUS is set to rule on whether presidents are immune from prosecution for official acts they took in the role as commander in chief. 

Trump is asking the High Court to dismiss that federal indictment accusing the 45th president of conspiring to subvert the 2020 election. Trump’s legal team asserts he has immunity for all acts he undertook that fell within the outer perimeter of his official responsibilities as president.

Nixon v. Fitzgerald established precedent for presidential civil immunity. And the Trump team contends there is precedent for criminal immunity since no president or former president has been criminally indicted or prosecuted for official acts for nearly 250 years of American history. 

Should SCOTUS deny Trump’s claims of presidential immunity, the decision could open up a dangerous Pandora’s box. A future Trump Administration could prosecute former President Barack Obama for authorizing drone strikes that killed American citizens (one of whom was a minor). It could also prosecute President Joe Biden for mass paroling millions of illegal aliens into the country. No one would be off limits.

Denying the executive branch immunity for official acts would also make no logical sense. Congress members and federal judges are each immune to criminal prosecution for their official acts. Why would it be any different for the president?

Again, all eyes will be on the SCOTUS this Thursday and Friday. These two opinions truly could alter the landscape of the presidency, along with hundreds of lives, moving forward.

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