One January 6 defendant is requesting the Supreme Court hear his challenge to one of the charges against him in a case that has the potential to upend legal proceedings against hundreds of other individuals being charged as a result of the January 6 Capitol protests.
Edward Jacob Lang has been indicted on 11 different charges, one of which was obstruction of an official proceeding. In an appeal to the Supreme Court last week, his attorneys argued that the obstruction charge could apply to “anyone who attends at a public demonstration gone awry.”
“In the District of Columbia prosecutors are now enabled to prosecute anyone who attends at a public demonstration gone awry; the result will be to create fear in those who would otherwise feel free to petition for redress of grievances, assemble in public places, and speak out about public affairs,” the appeal reads.
Just being at a protest gone awry, isn’t obstruction of an official proceeding. A Jan 6 defendant takes this to the Supreme Court.
Could this case upend legal proceedings against hundreds of other defendants?
Edward Lang’s attorney claims, “this is nothing less than the… pic.twitter.com/P1np74G5mw
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In Lang’s case, the obstruction of an official proceeding charge refers to Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes to confirm the president. His attorneys wrote in the appeal that foisting this charge upon him is “nothing less than the weaponization of the penal code to stifle dissent; it sets a terrifying precedent unworthy of this nation’s history.”
While Lang initially had a motion granted by the Washington, D.C. District Court that dismissed the obstruction charge, an appeals court later reversed the lower court’s decision and denied a motion for a rehearing. Lang faces a 20-year sentence for the obstruction charge alone.
In a statement to Newsweek, Lang’s attorney Norman Pattis wrote that he believes the Supreme Court could upend the cases of “hundreds of defendants” if they rule in Lang’s favor on the issue.
“The government misuse and abuse of the federal penal code in the [January 6] cases is shocking,” Pattis added.
Lang expects to hear whether the Supreme Court will take his case in the fall of 2023. Meanwhile, Lang and numerous other January 6 defendants have been held in a D.C. jail for more than 900 days without a trial — with lawyers and Republican officials asserting that these individuals are being held in horrific conditions.
In a statement to The Epoch Times, Lang asserted that his appeal may impact the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) efforts to charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction for similar reasons.
“I think the timing of this filing is astronomical,” he wrote. “Donald Trump is the political frontrunner for the Republican Party, and while the other bogus charges might easily go away through a plea deal, the obstruction of Congress charge carries prison time. This one would land him in serious hot water with a conviction.”