During a recent panel discussion on MSNBC, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner insisted that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) should be considered guilty of a criminal act because of a text message that he forwarded to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as Trump allies scrambled to try and overturn Biden’s election victory. The text was apparently forwarded by Jordan from conservative lawyer and past Trump campaign adviser Joseph Schmitz, and it claimed that “[on] January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.”
Trial date in Jan 6 case of former Trump Administration State Dept appointee Federico Klein & co-defendants is set for Sept 26, 2022
High-level case, includes allegations of assault against police pic.twitter.com/Sl8957wjPd
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) December 18, 2021
Pence didn’t actually have the legally recognized power to undertake such a move. Specifically, Kirschner pointed to legal provisions prohibiting obstruction of an official proceeding as what Jordan appeared to violate. Discussing the whole situation, Gallego began, in part, as follows on MSNBC:
‘It was a very clear election with little to no fraud. What he was doing is interfering in the procession of Congress… Using very fluttery words of James Madison that absolutely have nothing to do with the powers of the vice president that day as an excuse to obstruct the power of Congress is still illegal and therefore, in my opinion, a traitorous act, trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power.’
Here's how many judges recent presidents got confirmed in their first year in office.
— Demand Justice #ExpandTheCourt (@WeDemandJustice) December 18, 2021
As Kirschner subsequently put it:
‘I… believe there’s probable cause that Jim Jordan committed a crime by forwarding that text to Mark Meadows… What Jim Jordan did by forwarding that text was obstruct an official proceeding, and that statute, which is a 20-year felony, says if you actually obstruct, or you attempt to obstruct, or you endeavor to impede an official congressional proceeding like the electoral vote count, you’ve committed the federal felony of obstructing an official proceeding. That is what Jim Jordan did.’
Watch their comments below:
Some have wondered whether Trump himself could be considered guilty of a similar offense.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 18, 2021
During recent remarks to colleagues in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) presented the question of whether “Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly [sought] to obstruct or impede Congress’ official proceeding to count electoral votes” — a question employing the exact language of an anti-obstruction law. Separately, federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson has already observed that those behind the January 6 rally in D.C. that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol — a group that includes Trump — are guilty of having “deliberately stoked the flames of fear and discontent and explicitly encouraged [attendees] to go to the Capitol and fight for one reason and one reason only: to make sure the certification of the election didn’t happen.” That general observation is different from a formal conclusion of court-punishable guilt, however.
Overnight, the Senate confirmed Biden’s 40th judge — the most since Reagan, who also got 40 judges confirmed in his first year. Biden’s confirmed judges also far surpass the number of judges Trump got confirmed in his first year (18)
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) December 18, 2021