Prosecutors drop case against protester who erupted in ‘chortle of disdain’ during Sessions hearing

Criminal Justice

The U.S. Justice Department has dropped charges against an activist who laughed during January confirmation hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The department dropped charges against Code Pink activist Desiree Fairooz on Monday, report the Huffington Post, NPR, the Washington Post and Politico.

Fairooz says she let out a “chortle of disdain” after a fellow senator said Sessions had an extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law. She was charged with disrupting Congress and unlawfully demonstrating on Capitol grounds, both misdemeanors.

Fairooz was facing a retrial next week. She was initially convicted in May by jurors who told the Huffington Post they focused on her disruptive conduct as she was being arrested. A judge overturned the conviction in July because prosecutors had argued that laughter alone would support a conviction.

The U.S. Attorney’s office did not disclose why it decided to drop the case.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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