Elise Stefanik lodges complaint against judge involved in Jan. 6 and Trump cases

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has lodged a complaint on Friday, accusing a federal judge of judicial misconduct in relation to several cases linked to the events of January 6th.

Stefanik, a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump and a member of House GOP leadership, has officially requested an ethics investigation into U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell. This request was made in response to what the New York Republican deemed as a “highly inappropriate political speech” by the judge in November.

According to NBC News, Representative Elise Stefanik has filed a complaint with D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan regarding Judge Beryl Howell’s comments at a Women’s White Collar Defense Association gala. Stefanik claims that Howell’s remarks were not impartial and were instead politically biased. She argues that the judge’s statements were inappropriate and included partisan comments, interference in the election, and improper statements given that there were pending criminal cases.

NBC News’ request for comment has not been immediately returned by a spokesperson from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In his acceptance speech, Howell emphasized the importance of facts and highlighted the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a significant event.

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In her speech, Judge Howell emphasized the significant impact of false narratives on the sentencing of numerous individuals involved in the events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. She, along with her colleagues in the D.C. judiciary, regularly witness the consequences of these “big lies” during the sentencing process. Judge Howell emphasized the importance of factual accuracy and stated that district court judges prioritize the truth in their work.

According to the Department of Justice, over 1,200 individuals have been charged in connection with the events of January 6th. Out of these, more than 700 individuals have already pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Stefanik highlighted Howell’s mention of a passage from Heather Cox Richardson’s book “Democracy Awakening,” which stated that the United States is “at a crossroads, teetering on the brink of authoritarianism.” Stefanik used this reference to argue that the judge’s speech became overly political.

According to her arguments, Howell claimed that promoting the re-election of Donald Trump would imply that America is endorsing authoritarianism, which aligns with the Democratic political campaign theme.

Howell made no direct references to Trump or Republicans, but indirectly referred to the former president when discussing the events of the Capitol riot on January 6th.

Stefanik responded to Howell’s speech by stating that it implied that the election of President Trump would result in the rise of fascism in America.

“I have filed a complaint of judicial misconduct against Judge Howell, as the interference by judges in elections undermines the public’s trust in the federal judiciary, disrupts the integrity of our Republic, and is against the law. It is imperative that we put an end to this,” Stefanik stated firmly.

Judge Howell, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, has a history of issuing decisions against Jan. 6 defendants and dismissing arguments from Trump lawyers. Additionally, she oversaw the grand jury for the Mueller probe and the indictment of Trump by special counsel Jack Smith.

James Boasberg currently holds the position of chief judge, succeeding the previous chief judge who served in that role for a period of seven years.

Stefanik also highlighted Howell’s comments regarding Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who was also recognized at the event. Monaco is responsible for overseeing all Jan. 6 cases.

During her acceptance speech, Howell expressed her admiration for Monaco’s ability to maintain composure and poise while shouldering the immense responsibility of ensuring the safety of numerous individuals. She commended Monaco not only for her current position but also for her past role in national security.

Stefanik has a history of filing ethics complaints against judges who have handled cases involving the former president. Last November, she lodged a judicial ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against Trump. Stefanik alleged that Engoron displayed “clear judicial bias” against the former president and called for his recusal from the case.

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