Andy McCarthy Signals Jack Smith’s Case Suffered Catastrophic Loss

By Victor Winston, updated on March 4, 2024

A high-stakes legal showdown looms over the horizon.

According to insights from a former federal prosecutor, the Supreme Court's decision to hear a pivotal case could dramatically alter the legal landscape for former President Donald Trump.

The Supreme Court's agreement to review Fischer v. United States is a potential turning point. This case revolves around interpreting the obstruction statute, which plays a crucial role in the indictment against Donald Trump by special counsel Jack Smith.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has underscored the case's significance, suggesting that a ruling against the statute's broad application could have serious implications for Smith's case against the former president.

Examining the Legal Foundation of the Trump Indictment

Trump faces a four-count indictment, secured by Jack Smith in August, primarily focusing on his efforts to contest the 2020 election results. The obstruction statute is at the heart of the indictment, formally recognized as 18 USC Section 1512(c)(2). With oral arguments slated for April, the Supreme Court's decision to entertain Fischer v. United States sheds light on this critical legal debate.

The Justice Department has wielded the statute in question to charge numerous individuals involved in the January 6 Capitol riots, hinting at its wide-reaching consequences.

The legal stakes are high, with the Supreme Court previously dismantling a conviction secured by Smith against Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia in 2016. This unanimous decision provides a glimpse into the potentially tenuous ground on which current charges rest.

A Cautious Eye on the Obstruction Case

As Andrew McCarthy articulates, the implications of this Supreme Court case on the prosecution of Donald Trump cannot be overstated. He highlights the strategic error of overlooking this case due to Trump's indirect involvement. According to McCarthy:

The case to keep your eye on is the obstruction case... We miss it because Trump is not a party to that case. They are looking at the same statute that is key to Smith’s prosecution of Trump in Washington, and if they — as I expect they may, if they — if they say the Justice Department has not been correctly applying that statute, that’s going to have a catastrophic impact for Smith on his indictment.

Defense attorneys for Joseph Fischer have criticized the D.C. Circuit’s broad interpretation of Section 1512(c)(2). They argue that its extension beyond evidence impairment into protests at government seats starkly contradicts other appeals courts' more limited interpretations.

The Timeline: Indictment to Supreme Court Review

The narrative of this case weaves through several key points in recent history. The indictment against Trump in August 2023 marked a significant chapter in the ongoing saga of the 2020 election's aftermath. This development followed the tumultuous events of January 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the Capitol, leading to widespread legal and political repercussions.

The forthcoming Supreme Court hearing in April 2024 represents a critical juncture. It could redefine the legal boundaries for prosecuting obstruction, potentially altering the course of Trump's indictment.

In summary, the Supreme Court's upcoming review of Fischer v. United States holds profound implications for the prosecution of Donald Trump. Andrew McCarthy has spotlighted the pivotal nature of this case, which rests on interpreting the obstruction statute used in Trump's indictment.

A ruling against the statute's broad application could notably tilt the balance in Trump's favor, marking a significant moment in the legal discourse surrounding the 2020 election and its contentious aftermath. This unfolding story encapsulates a broader exploration of justice, power, and the pivotal role of the Supreme Court in shaping America's legal landscape.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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