The defense of Donald Trump by members of Congress continues.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who is also the House GOP Conference Chair, filed an ethics complaint against DC District Judge Beryl Howell on Friday.
Judge Howell has been the chief judge of the DC District Court since 2016, leaving her post in March of 2023.
One of her last actions in that post was to turn over communications between Trump and his attorney to Special Counsel Jack Smith regarding Trump's handling of classified documents. She had also compelled Trump's attorney to testify before a grand jury and was highly critical of prosecutors for what she deemed to be too lenient in sentencing recommendations for January 6 defendants.
In November, Howell gave a speech after having been given an award by the Women's White Collar Defense Association. During that speech, while not referencing Trump by name, she was clearly speaking about him, calling the Capitol incidents based on "big lies" and warning of "a very surprising and downright troubling moment in this country when the very importance of facts is dismissed, or ignored."
The actions of Judge Howell were noticed by Stefanik, a major ally of Donald Trump's in Congress, and not surprisingly, a complaint was filed.
"As outlined in detail below, Judge Howell's partisan speech is obviously highly inappropriate election interference by a federal judge that undermines the public's trust in our courts. Moreover, the public display of the cozy personal relationships between Judge Howell and her partisan friends who appear before her undermines public trust in judicial independence."
Stefanik also pointed to a relationship between Howell and former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, stating:
"It's particularly shocking to hear the former Attorney General of the United States praise a sitting federal judge for her handling of the grand-jury proceedings on pending federal criminal charges against a defendant (President Trump), the pending criminal cases against his January 6 supporters, and even make the legal conclusion that an 'insurrection' occurred on January 6–despite the fact even the over-the-top Biden Special Counsel Jack Smith never brought such charges against any January 6 defendant."
This complaint filed by Stefanik is legitimate, as we have seen numerous comments and actions by judges that are linked to Trump's cases that are beyond the pale.
Quite frankly, I am shocked a complaint has not been filed against Judge Engoron or Judge Chutkan.
Having said that, don't expect much to come of this because this appears to be acceptable these days, as we have what appear to be activists on the bench rather than nonpartisan jurors. Additionally, the fact that Stefanik is doing this to defend Trump will be noted, which means it will be brushed aside as Trump yet again influences members of Congress to take action on his behalf.