Election Interference: Elise Stefanik Files Complaint Against Judge in Trump January 6 Case

Elise Stefanik and Beryl Howell
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images; Breitbart News edit

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has filed an ethics complaint against a federal judge who oversaw the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump over his actions on January 6, 2021.

Stefanik charges that U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, chief judge of the federal court in Washington, D.C. until March, engaged in inappropriate political speech and election interference that violates judicial ethics and “suggested reelecting President Trump will lead to fascism in America.”

Howell’s remarks in question were delivered in a speech in November to the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. The judge connected the impact of “big lies” about January 6 and said “big lies are springboards for authoritarians.”

Stefanik, the House Republican Conference Chair, tied Howell’s comments with the 2024 election.

“Judge Howell’s speech is plainly inappropriate, consisting of partisan statements, election interference and improper extrajudicial statements while criminal cases are pending — all barred by Canon 2B,” Stefanik wrote in her complaint, referencing a judicial ethics guide. She went on, saying Howell “suggested reelecting President Trump will lead to fascism in America.”

In addition to overseeing the Trump case, Howell, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, is overseeing a defamation case brought by two former Georgia election workers against Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer, after he accused them of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. A jury began deliberating on that case Thursday. She also has ruled in cases related to other January 6 defendants.

Trump and his allies have accused his political opponents of weaponizing the federal government and the courts against him in what they’ve called “lawfare.” He faces numerous criminal and civil charges and ballot access challenges across the country, where prosecutors have pursued novel legal arguments that employ broad interpretations of existing statutes.

Stefanik made clear her belief that Howell’s comments veer into election interference.

“Election interference by judges destroys public confidence in the federal judiciary, tears apart the fabric of our Republic and is illegal,” she told The Hill.

Stefanik earlier filed a formal judicial complaint to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct regarding Manhattan Justice Arthur Engoron, contending he “has displayed a clear judicial bias against” former President Donald Trump.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.