On January 6, Elise Stefanik filed a complaint against the federal judge who ruled on the Trump cases

Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) on Friday, Jan. 6 called for an ethics investigation into the federal judge who ruled on cases involving rioters and former President Trump — and is currently overseeing the defamation trial of Trump associate Rudy Giuliani.

Stefanik said U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell engaged in “judicial misconduct” during a speech last month after accepting the award at a Women’s White Collar Defense Association exhibition. Stefanik called it “very inappropriate political talk.”

In Discourse, Jan. 6, 2021, Howell discussed the impact of the “big lies” associated with the Capitol attack, and cited historian Heather Cox Richardson’s book “Democratic Awakening.” The judge did not mention Trump by name.

“We have a very surprising and obvious problem in this country when the importance of facts is dismissed or ignored,” Howell said in the speech.

A staunch Trump ally, Stefanik criticized the comments as “unbecoming of a federal judge” and suggested a connection between Howell’s views on autocracy and Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

“Judge Howell’s speech was completely inappropriate, including partisan statements, election interference, and improper extrajudicial statements while criminal cases are pending — all of which are prohibited by Canon 2B,” Stefanik wrote.

Howell was Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Washington for seven years; He passed the baton to now-Chief Justice James Bosberg in March. While in that role, Howell oversaw the grand jury that heard testimony and later indicted Trump in his federal 2020 election sabotage case.

A judge is currently overseeing a defamation lawsuit filed by two former Georgia election workers against Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer, for alleged involvement in 2020 election fraud. The judges began hearing the case on Thursday.

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The Hill has sought comment from Stefanik’s office. A spokesman for the court declined to comment.

Howell is not the only judge linked to Trump and his allies that Stefanik has targeted with an ethics hearing request. He filed a complaint last month against Judge Arthur Engron, who is overseeing Trump’s New York civil fraud investigation.

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