I still can’t quite believe this is happening here:
The US Department of Justice is still prosecuting Code Pink activist Desiree Fairooz because she laughed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing — even after a judge threw out a jury’s initial conviction against her.
The case goes back to January, when Sessions was testifying before the Senate for his attorney general nomination. At one point, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said Sessions’s history of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” Given that Sessions has a long history of opposing the equal treatment of all Americans under the law (from his opposition to voting rights laws to LGBTQ rights), Fairooz apparently found the comment funny and laughed out loud.
Police moved in to arrest Fairooz, apparently seeing her laugh as disruptive. It could have all ended there as a big misunderstanding, with an apology and Fairooz’s release.
Instead, federal prosecutors pursued charges, arguing, Ryan Reilly wrote at HuffPost, that “the laugh amounted to willful ‘disorderly and disruptive conduct’ intended to ‘impede, disrupt, and disturb the orderly conduct’ of congressional proceedings.” For her part, Fairooz has said the laugh was reflexive — and the laugh is hard to make out in video of the hearings, having no notable impact on Shelby’s delivery of his speech.