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One of the key offenses charged by the government in the January 6 cases is obstruction of an official proceeding in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2). It is the offense to which Jacob Chansley (a/k/a the QAnon Shaman) pleaded guilty in his deal with the prosecutors. I wrote about the case in “It had to be Q.” The federal statute provides a penalty of imprisonment up to 20 years and a fine up to $1,00,000, among other things. The mental element of the offense requires corrupt intent, the definition of which was thrown into doubt yesterday by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Yesterday the Tennessee House voted to expel two of three members who participated in the March 30 takeover of the House chamber and disruption of House proceedings. A bare recitation of the facts echoes significant components of the January 6 cases, though such a recitation is damn near impossible to find in news accounts this morning. The Tennessean has posted a backgrounder summarizing the events, including this:
As members of the House of Representatives debated an education bill, three House Democrats approached the podium, called the “well,” without being recognized to speak — breaching the chamber’s rules of procedure.
With a bullhorn, Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, Rep. Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, led protestors in the galleries in several chants calling for gun reform.
Sexton immediately recessed the chamber, halting legislative business for nearly an hour before it resumed, and ordered security to clear the House galleries.
Sexton huddled with legislative leadership, including House Minority Leader Karen Camper, D-Memphis, and House Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, during the break in business and before the three lawmakers left the floor.
No protestors tried to access or were allowed on the chamber floor. When Sexton ordered security to clear the galleries, protesters left willingly.
In other words, the three members themselves disrupted the House proceedings and ground official business to a halt.
The Tennessean is compelled to distinguish the events from the January 6 riot. Under the heading of What Did Not Happen?, the reporters write: “No protestors broke into the state Capitol. No one entered without going through security. No members of the public stormed the House chamber floor.”
No, it was the three legislators themselves who were responsible for the disruption. It’s as though Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley took over the electoral certification to voice grievances with a bullhorn.
Two of the three are black men. The third — a white woman — survived by a single vote. Republicans who voted to spare her found her conduct less culpable than that of the two others. See, for example, the letter posted here. Insofar as appearances are concerned, that is too bad. It should have been all or nothing.
The White House has seized the opportunity to hustle the racial effect along with gun control hysteria. It doesn’t get much better than that for them. They haven’t found time to call on the victims of the Covenant School massacre by the trans nut, but Kamala Harris has flown to Nashville. She led a rally for the Tennessee three (AP story here). If Harris is on the case, you know it is a crock.
In the old Dave Loggins song his girl friend seeks to entice him to come by declaring that she is “the number one fan of the man from Tennessee” (i.e., Loggins). The Biden White House is the number one fan of the men from Tennessee (the lady is window dressing).
The Nashville rally is not the end of the story. The story is to continue next week with a visit to the White House (New York Post story here). How long before they are invited to return to the White House as conquering heroes?