The Justice Department is dropping its case against a woman who laughed during Attorney General Jeff Sessions's confirmation hearing earlier this year, according to a court filing. The nolle prosequi filing, obtained by HuffPost, means that the government will dismiss the charges against Desiree Fairooz, an activist affiliated with the anti-war group Code Pink, who was arrested in January for laughing during Sessions's confirmation hearing.
According to Vox, the Justice Department prosecuted Code Pink activist Desiree Fairooz for laughing while in attendance at Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing. At Session’s confirmation, fellow Alabaman Senator Richard Shelby (R) claimed that Sessions’ history of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.”
This comment by the Sen. Shelby drew laughter from Fairooz who was then quickly removed from the hearing.
Months later, the Justice Department was still criminally prosecuting Fairooz for this incident. The Justice Dept. claimed her laughter amounted to ‘disorderly and disruptive conduct’ made with the intent to ‘impede, disrupt, and disturb the orderly conduct’ of congressional proceedings.”
Fairooz rejected the criminal charges and fought against them. Fairooz claims that her laughter was a spontaneous reflex based on Shelby’s praise of Sessions. Shelby’s assertion that Sessions has a history of “treating all Americans equally under the law,” doesn’t match Session’s past record of supporting hateful policies against the LGBT community, the disabled, immigrants, and African-Americans.
If convicted, Fairooz faced a fine of $500 and an additional punishment of up to year in prison.