In a development that could potentially delay former President Donald Trump’s upcoming trial, the United States Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal from Joseph W. Fischer, a participant in the January 6 Capitol attack. This decision has sparked concerns that it might be used by Trump’s legal team to push for postponing his trial, scheduled for March.
The Supreme Court’s choice to take up Fischer’s appeal, which challenges his conviction under the same statute Trump is charged with, was made without any public indication from the justices. Fischer’s argument hinges on the interpretation of obstruction of an official government proceeding, a charge stemming from the 2002 Enron scandal legislation. His legal team contends that the law intended to address white-collar crimes, not actions like his involvement in the Capitol siege.
The implications of this case for Trump are significant. Trump faces charges under the same statute for his role in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol, to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election results. The pending Supreme Court decision on Fischer’s appeal could impact the jury instructions and overall approach in Trump’s trial, as noted by law experts like Randall Eliason and Joyce Vance.
Trump’s lawyers are likely to seize this opportunity to request a delay in his trial, arguing the need to resolve constitutional questions related to his charges. This strategy fits into a broader pattern of Trump’s legal team using delays as a tactic, possibly in hopes of a political comeback in 2024 that could lead to the dropping of all charges against him.
The Supreme Court’s involvement in Fischer’s case introduces a complex layer to the proceedings against Trump. While there is no current indication of such a move, special counsel Jack Smith might consider dropping the charges related to the contested statute to maintain the trial’s schedule. This strategy could ensure that the trial proceeds as planned, with the option to reintroduce the charges later, should Trump not win the 2024 election.
As the situation unfolds, it highlights the intricate interplay between legal interpretations, political calculations, and the quest for accountability in the wake of the Capitol attack. With the Supreme Court’s decision looming, all eyes are on how this will influence one of the most significant legal battles in recent American history.