The Supreme Court said Wednesday it will hear a case that could potentially undo Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot charges against hundreds of people, including former President Donald Trump.
The justices said they will review the cases of three Jan. 6 defendants – Joseph Fischer, Edward Jacob Lang and Garrett Miller – who were all charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, referring to how the riot disrupted the congressional certification of the 2020 election.
Trump was also charged with obstruction, among other things, in special counsel Jack Smith’s federal 2020 election case against him, which is set to go to trial March 4. Smith separately asked the Supreme Court on Monday whether Trump is immune from prosecution on those charges.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the obstruction charge in March or April and issue a decision by early summer, The Associated Press reported.
Controversies surrounding the obstruction charges started when U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, determined that prosecutors stretched the law to have it inappropriately applied. The Justice Department challenged that decision, and the D.C. appeals court agreed with prosecutors earlier this year that Nichols’ interpretation was too limited.
The three men are not the only ones challenging the obstruction charge, which was brought against more than 300 Capitol riot defendants. Trump and other defendants are challenging the charge as well.