Biden DOJ Warns Jan. 6 Defendants May Still Face Heightened Sentences Despite SCOTUS Case Challenging Key Charge

The Department of Justice (DOJ) warned a Jan. 6 defendant Tuesday that his sentence would not be reduced, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision in a coming case related to a statute he was charged under.

Jan. 6 defendant Anthony Williams asked the court in February to grant him bond pending his appeal in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to take up Fischer v. United States, which challenges the scope of an obstruction statute used to charge him, along with hundreds of other Jan. 6 defendants. The DOJ warned in a court filing Tuesday that in spite of the pending case — and an appeals court ruling finding it wrongly lengthened Jan. 6 sentences by applying an enhancement for interfering with the  “administration of justice” — it would increase its sentencing recommendation on the remaining counts to maintain the current sentence length. (RELATED: Supreme Court Takes Case With Major Implications For Trump, Jan. 6 Defendants)

“[T]he government respectfully submits that Williams nevertheless cannot show that there is any likelihood that the outcome in Fischer will result in a reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the total of the time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal process,” the DOJ wrote.

The DOJ said that “the government’s sentencing recommendation likely would be different in the absence of a conviction for obstruction of an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) and could include a request for consecutive sentences to account for both the severity of Williams’s conduct on January 6 and for the aspects of his conduct and history that the Court originally found warranted a sixty (60) month sentence.”

In an effort to stem a flood of requests by J6ers serving time for 1512c2, the obstruction count pending before SCOTUS, DOJ and DC US Atty Matthew Graves now warn if it’s reversed and those convicted seek reduced or vacated prison sentence, the govt will ask for MORE time:

— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) March 20, 2024

The DOJ noted it did not initially recommend consecutive sentences because the range available under William’s obstruction charge “was adequate to satisfy the purposes of sentencing.”

“The calculus on resentencing would necessarily change, and a reversal of the § 1512(c) conviction could increase the aggregate sentence on the remaining counts,” the filing continues.

The Supreme Court agreed to take up the Fischer case in December. The obstruction statute, Section 1512(c)(2), threatens fines or up to 20 years in prison for anyone who “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding.”

“Hundreds of cases have been and will be affected by the scope of Section 1512(c)(2), including a case against the former President,” Fischer’s petition to the Supreme Court argued. “In addition, the use of Section 1512(c)(2) outside evidence impairment crimes is an extraordinary and unprecedented extension of the statute’s reach.”

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