Stefanik Files Complaint on Jan. 6 Judge: 'Highly Inappropriate'

GOP congresswoman slams Beryl Howell, who has ruled on Capitol riot, Trump cases
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2023 10:45 AM CST
Stefanik Files Complaint on Jan. 6 Judge: 'Highly Inappropriate'
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, is seen in the US Capitol on Tuesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Elise Stefanik filed a complaint Friday against a federal judge who's ruled on cases involving the Jan. 6 riot and former President Donald Trump, alleging the judge engaged in "judicial misconduct," reports the Hill. The GOP congresswoman is now calling for an ethics probe into US District Judge Beryl Howell, on the heels of a speech Howell gave in November at a Women's White Collar Defense Association event. In that speech, Howell called out the "big lies" around the 2020 election that had driven the 2021 attack on the US Capitol, noting that "big lies are springboards for authoritarians."

Howell—who has issued rulings on Jan. 6 defendants and overseen the grand jury for the Trump indictment brought by special counsel Jack Smith, per NBC News—didn't specifically mention Trump in her speech, but Stefanik, a Trump loyalist, is making some inferences on Howell's words. In her complaint filed with DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan, Stefanik calls Howell's speech "highly inappropriate," noting it was filled with "partisan statements, election interference, and improper extrajudicial statements while criminal cases are pending."

Stefanik also accused Howell in her complaint of "[insinuating] the election of President Trump will lead to fascism in America." Stefanik, who was one of nearly 150 Republicans who voted on Jan. 6, 2021, against certifying the 2020 Election in favor of Joe Biden, has also filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, a judge now presiding over Trump's $250 million civil fraud case in New York. Howell also just wrapped up overseeing the defamation case against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. (More Elise Stefanik stories.)

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