A Massachusetts man on Friday was charged with a felony related to his participation in the protest at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Mark Sahady already faced misdemeanors for his nonviolent and brief jaunt through the building that afternoon, but the Justice Department decided to add the common "obstruction of an official proceeding" charge to Sahady's case on April 7.
That same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw Sahady—and more than 300 January 6 defendants charged with the same obstruction felony—a potential lifeline. In what one judge described as a "splintered decision," a three-judge panel narrowly reversed a lower court ruling that tossed the obstruction count against three Capitol protesters. D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols dismissed the charge last year largely based on the argument that the statute "requires that the defendant have taken some action with respect to a document, record, or other object in order to corruptly obstruct, impede or influence an official proceeding."