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‘Numerous prejudicial statements’

(Image by Maria from Pixabay)

It apparently is not just bureaucrats, functionaries and prosecutors involved in the weaponization of the government against President Donald Trump.

That agenda has been obvious in recent months as multiple state and federal cases have been launched against him, sometimes as in the “hush money” case on trial in New York now the allegations are based on facts that multiple prosecutors earlier said did not make a case.

But that weaponization also apparently, sometimes, may include judges.

Reps. Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik confirmed Tuesday they are investigating the dismissal of Stefanik’s misconduct complaint against Washington, D.C., federal judge Beryl Howell.

The focus in Howell’s potentially prejudicial statements about Trump’s criminal case involving the 2020 election.

The members of Congress have written Sri Srinivasan, the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting a report on how that concern, essentially, was torpedoed.

The office of the D.C. Circuit executive initially “claimed” that the complaint had been “wrongly filed,” the members charge. But it even apparently was dismissed after being submitted twice more.

The letter explains how Stefanik expressed concern over a speech by Howell at one of those “gala” events in Washington, organized by the Women’s White Collar Defense Association.

In her November 2023 speech Howell “Howell made numerous prejudicial statements touching on matters pending before her. In particular, Judge Howell made statements that approved of a book that disparages President Donald Trump, who was the subject of grand juries she oversaw and is a defendant in a trial pending before the court on which she sits,” the letter charged.

“Howell quoted portions of the book that disparages President Trump, commenting that “big lies are springboards for authoritarians,” and noting that the U.S. is “at a crossroads teetering on the brink of authoritarianism.”

The letter charged she also praised Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who helped to lead the department prosecuting President Trump, as well as making statements regarding her experience sentencing defendants for conduct related to Jan. 6, 2021, which is related to the Justice Department’s prosecution of President Trump.

Monaco actually spearheaded the dubious prosecution of Trump for allegedly keeping documents from his presidency in his home.

Joe Biden, of course, was found this year to have willfully retained classified documents after his vice presidency, but the “Justice Department did not recommend bringing charges, in part because a jury was likely to have seen him as an ‘elderly man with a poor memory’ rather than a devious criminal mastermind,” the members of Congress said in a report.

Howell claimed, “My DC judicial colleagues and I regularly see the impact of big lies at the sentencing of hundreds, hundreds of individuals who have been convicted for offensive conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, when they disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election at the US Capitol.”

Stefanik noted, again, in the letter that Howell’s open criticism of Trump “appear to violate Canon 2B of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which requires that judges ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary’ and that a judge should not ‘lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge.'”

Howell was picked for the bench by Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president.

The letter notes that federal judges are required to follow “unbiased, neutral decision-making,” and when it appears they have not, and a complaint is filed, it needs to be investigated.

The report noted it’s been five months and nothing has happened with Stefanik’s complaint about the judge’s bias.

The members of Congress now want a briefing on the status of that complaint, information about “alleged” problems with the complaint, a timeline, and much more, including whether there have been other complaints about Howell.

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