Elise Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Judge Beryl Howell Alleging ‘Highly Inappropriate Political Speech’

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) on Friday requested an ethics investigation into U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell after she delivered what the congresswoman called a “highly inappropriate political speech.”

Howell is an Obama-appointed federal judge who has been ruthless in her rulings against the January 6 rioters. She is currently overseeing Rudy Giuliani’s defamation trial and has previously overseen grand jury probes into former President Trump.

In her complaint, Stefanik accuses Howell of using “partisan” language during a speech last month at the Women’s White Collar Defense Association gala. The liberal women lawyers group had presented Howell and Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco with “champion” awards during the November 28 event.

Former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch was the master of ceremonies and former Obama White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler helped her introduce both Judge Howell and Monaco.

Quoting historian Heather Cox Richardson’s book “Democracy Awakening,” Howell had said, without mentioning Trump by name, that “big lies are springboards for authoritarians.”

After the Capitol Hill riot, Democrats and their allies in the media repeatedly used the phrase “big lie” to describe Trump’s claims that the election was rigged.

“My D.C. judicial colleagues and I regularly see the impact of big lies at the sentencing of hundreds, hundreds of individuals who have been convicted for offense conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, when they disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election at the U.S. Capitol,” Howell said in the speech. “We are having a very surprising and downright troubling moment in this country when the very importance of facts is dismissed or ignored,” she added.

In a post on X, Stefanik called it a “highly inappropriate political speech” that “insinuated the election of President Trump will lead to fascism in America.”

“She also inappropriately allowed a public display of her cozy personal relationships with her partisan friends who appear before her, including the Biden Deputy Attorney General who supervises the January 6 criminal prosecutions,” Stefanik wrote.

“I filed a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct against Judge Beryl Howell, because election interference by judges destroys public confidence in the federal judiciary, tears apart the fabric of our Republic, and is illegal. It must end now,” the N.Y. congresswoman said.

In her complaint, Stefanik criticized the comments as “unbecoming of a federal judge.”

“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 argued, referencing the judicial ethics guide.

Judge Howell, after becoming the chief judge of the D.C. District Court in 2016 before stepping down on March 17, 2023, supervised the D.C. grand jury and other legal proceedings against President Donald J. Trump, his top aides, and his supporters on January 6th. This included Judge Howell’s supervision of the discredited Mueller probe that substantially interfered with the Trump presidency, along with then-Chief Judge Howell’s supervision of Biden Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigations that resulted in two unprecedented and highly controversial indictments of a former President of the United States and the leading presidential candidate for 2024.

Stefanik said it was “shocking” that Judge Howell “participated in this highly prejudicial public charade, not even disclaiming any of it.”

According to Canon 2B, she noted, “a judge should neither lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge.”
“It’s hard to imagine how these criminal defendants can expect a fair trial, when one of the key federal judges received a ‘champion award’ from partisan opponents while cases are pending before her court,” Stefanik argued.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 5: New Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell poses for photographs in her court room May 05, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Start the discussion at community.amgreatness.com