Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., may have committed a crime with his comments about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, according to Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.
Jarrett, a former defense attorney and adjunct professor at New York Law School, wrote on Friday that Schumer “stepped very close to the line of felonious conduct,” with his remark that the justices “will pay the price” for their rulings while the court was hearing a case on Louisiana’s controversial abortion access law.
“What exactly was Schumer saying? Was he implying that if the justices voted in favor of the Louisiana law that retribution in the form of violence should or would be visited upon them? Did his audience infer it?”
Jarrett wrote that he agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts, who condemned Schumer’s “threatening statements” as “inappropriate” and “dangerous,” in a statement.
“There is little question that Schumer’s statements were ‘threatening.’ Roberts also was correct that the spoken words were so incendiary in front of an enraged crowd as to be ‘dangerous.’ The legal issue is whether they rise to the level of criminal threats, intimidation and incitement.”
He notes that Schumer’s exact words make it “unclear” what he was threatening, and that “in order for a threat to be criminal, the harm must be specific and unequivocal.”
Jarrett’s Fox News colleague, senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, said on the “Fox News Rundown” podcast that Schumer’s statements are “protected,” and that “for this to be a threat, he would have to have had the present apparent ability to carry it out at the moment he uttered it, which he didn't.”
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