Representative Wants Ethics Probe Into Jan 6th Judge

( – Republican Representative Elise Stefanik (NY) called for an ethics investigation into US District Court Judge Beryl Howell, who has overseen criminal cases stemming from the January 6th, 2021, Capitol riots.

Stefanik made an official complaint to the DC Court of Appeals Judge, Sri Srinivasa, alleging that Howell made “inappropriate political speech” while receiving an award at a gala event for the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. The complaint contends that Howell is in violation of the code of conduct for Federal judges, under a prohibition against judges using their office to advance private interests or to create the impression of a position that could influence the judge.

Central to Stefanik’s complaint is that many January 6th cases are still pending. Over 1,200 people were charged in relation to the riots, with over 500 still awaiting their verdict. Howell specifically referenced defendants in the January 6th cases and spoke about the danger of their “big lies” while being sentenced. Stefanik also complained that Howell’s comments clearly promoted the Democrat political campaign.

Howell was appointed under President Obama and is currently overseeing a civil defamation case against Trump administration advisor Rudy Giuliani. She was previously involved in grand jury proceedings of investigations relating to Donald Trump’s alleged attempts at overthrowing the 2020 Presidential election, as well as the investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.

In November of this year, Stefanik made another ethics complaint about Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing a $250 million fraud suit against Trump. In early December, Stefanik made headlines for her questioning of three high-profile university officials about their antisemitism policies on their campuses.

This type of complaint is typically dismissed; even if any action is taken, it’s usually kept secret.

Noah Bookbinder, President and CEO of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (an ethics and accountability non-profit) noted he believes it’s likely such complaints may become more common.

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