The FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation celebrates the massive victory for freedom and liberty in America which occurred on June 28, 2024, when the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling, held in Fischer v. United States, that the Department of Justice wrongly prosecuted over 350 people in connection with the events of January 6 and that the Biden Administration’s use of 18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2) was improper and should not have been used by the DOJ to prosecute the January 6 defendants. The FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation, filed a Friend of the Court (Amicus Curiae) brief in January, 2024, in the Fischer case because we realized that the misapplication of this law by the federal government would continue to expand and metastasize until all political activity and lawful demonstrations that the Government disagrees with are stifled and our freedoms are lost. See https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/23/23-5572/299002/20240129110646774_Amicus%20Brief%20Fischer%20Case%201-29-2024.pdf

The Fischer case involved the application of a two-part statute enacted by Congress in the wake of the Enron scandal prohibiting the alteration, destruction and concealment of records and documents for use in an official proceeding or otherwise impeding or obstructing an official proceeding. The first section of the statute, 18 USC 1512 (c)(1), clearly prohibits the destruction of records and documents to be used as evidence in an official proceeding. The second section of the statute, 18 USC 1512 (c)(2) prohibited a person from otherwise impeding, influencing or obstructing an official proceeding. The DOJ argued that the second part of the statute, 18 USC 1512 (c)(2) was a stand-alone provision unrelated to the destruction of records and documents. Under this novel theory, the DOJ was able to vastly expand the scope and reach of the statute beyond what Congress intended and to essentially convert the statute into a catch-all obstruction of justice provision used to prosecute January 6 defendants. Edward L. Tarpley, Jr., the Louisiana attorney who filed the Amicus Brief for the FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation stated “Fortunately the United States Supreme Court rejected the theory of the DOJ and ruled that both sections of 18 USC 1512 (c) must be read together and that 18 USC 1512 (c)(2) is not independent of 18 USC 1512 (c)(1).” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the court and stated that the DOJ’s “novel interpretation would criminalize a broad swath of prosaic conduct, exposing activists and lobbyists alike to decades in prison.”

It should be understood that there are misdemeanor criminal laws that address any disruption at the Capitol. And there are trespass laws and laws against breaking windows. Yet knowing that 40 U.S.C. 5104 and 18 U.S.C. 1752 already cover any disruptive conduct at Capitol buildings or other temporarily restricted buildings, the Biden Department of Justice nevertheless invented a 20 year felony of “corruptly obstructing, impeding, or influencing” 18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2) to cover obstruction by a crowd. The DOJ dishonestly tried to change the meaning of the statute to duplicate as a felony what is already covered by misdemeanor statutes. Everyone agrees that 1512(c) was passed in the wake of the ENRON / Arthur Andersen collapse. It was widely perceived that existing law at that time did not prohibit the destruction of documentary evidence in certain circumstances. But the feeling was that although certain actions were not illegal they should be. So Congress passed 1512(c) to expand criminal prohibitions for destroying documents. However, the Government had never applied this statute in this way before. During oral argument on April 16, 2024, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar this question. Although she was evasive throughout the oral argument, eventually Justice Thomas dragged the Government’s lawyer to admit “No.” https://www.c-span.org/video/?534910-1/fischer-v-united-states-oral-argument

U. S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols originally dismissed 1512(c) charges against Joseph Fischer, Jake Lang, and Garrett Miller in 2022. Biden’s DOJ appealed the dismissal, which is how this case reached the Supreme Court years ahead of when other January 6 cases will work their way up there. Much of the argument in the Fischer case concerned the relationship between 1512(c)(1) which is clearly about destruction of documents linked by “otherwise” to 1512(c)(2). Judge Nichols had found with mathematical precision that 1512(c)(2) must be related to the document or evidence destruction of 1512(c)(1). The Government wanted to disconnect 1512(c)(2) from any restrictions so that they could charge almost anyone (if a conservative) for almost anything. The link “or otherwise” properly means both related but in a different way. The DOJ argued that “otherwise” means “in a different way” but entirely unrelated to the rest of the statute. That means 1512(c)(2) can mean anything the prosecutors want it to mean in any case by case scenario. Fortunately, the Supreme Court rejected the theory of the DOJ and overruled the DC Federal Court of Appeals and 14 of 15 Federal Judges in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation

The FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation (FFFF) is a New Jersey based 501(c)(3) organization comprised of former federal agents, prosecutors, lawyers, medical professionals, researchers, and volunteers from around the United States and all over the world. Our mission is to preserve, protect, and, where needed, restore our constitutional rights and God-given unalienable freedoms. If you would like to help support this mission, please make a contribution or volunteer today. If you have any questions, please contact us. For media inquiries, please contact Carolyn Blakeman.

 

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