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GOP Calls Out Trump-Hating Judge


The GOP is not backing down.

On Friday, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) formally called for an ethics investigation into U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who has presided over cases related to the January 6th Capitol riot and former President Trump. Stefanik asserted that Howell committed “judicial misconduct” during a recent speech where she received an award at a Women’s White Collar Defense Association gala. Stefanik characterized the speech as a “highly inappropriate political address.”

In her speech, Judge Howell discussed the impact of “big lies” in the context of the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, citing historian Heather Cox Richardson’s book “Democracy Awakening,” which explores the role of significant falsehoods as catalysts for authoritarianism. Notably, Howell did not explicitly mention Donald Trump by name but expressed concern about the dismissal or neglect of factual importance in the country.


Stefanik, a staunch ally of Trump, condemned Howell’s remarks as “unbecoming of a federal judge.” She suggested a connection between Howell’s comments on authoritarianism and Trump’s potential 2024 presidential campaign. Stefanik referenced Canon 2B of a judicial ethics guide, asserting that Howell’s speech included partisan statements, election interference, and improper extrajudicial comments during pending criminal cases.

Previously serving as the chief judge of the federal court in Washington, D.C., Howell oversaw the grand jury that indicted Trump in his federal 2020 election subversion case. Stefanik filed the ethics complaint, emphasizing that judges engaging in election interference erode public confidence in the federal judiciary and undermine the foundations of the Republic.

Notably, Judge Howell currently presides over the defamation case involving Rudy Giuliani, a close ally of Trump, accused by two former Georgia election workers of making false claims about the 2020 election. A spokesperson for the court declined to comment on the matter. This request for an ethics investigation is not an isolated incident for Stefanik, as she previously filed a similar complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, overseeing Trump’s New York civil fraud trial, alleging “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance” toward the former president.