The Department of Justice has dropped its case against a woman who laughed during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing in January.
The woman in question is Desiree Fairooz, 61, who claims that her laugh was involuntary and brought on by a comment by Sen. Richard Shelby. Shelby had said Sessions' "extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented."
Fairooz, who is an activist with the organization Code Pink, a far leftist organization known for intentionally disrupting congressional events, told WAMU, "I let out an involuntary laugh, or more of a chortle of disdain."
According to court documents, a Capitol Police officer approached Fairooz and tried to bring her out of the room after she laughed. As she refused, other officers came up to pull her out of the room as she continued to yell out.
After being detained Fairooz was charged with two misdemeanors including a disruption of Congress charge and unlawful demonstration on Capitol grounds, both of which holds six-month stints in prison as well as the chance of a fine.
In July, a judge threw the conviction out and requested a new trial to be held, according to NPR. The new trial was set to begin this week after Fairooz rejected a plea deal, but instead, the trial was again thrown out according to another NPR report.
Fairooz tweeted out that the case was tossed out once she was notified by a government notice.
Just received this, "Governments Notice of Nolle Prosequi" What a relief! Guess they've got enough "laughing" matters to deal with!— Desiree Fairooz (@desireefairooz) November 6, 2017
NPR confirmed that the charges were dropped after speaking with District of Columbia spokesman Bill Miller. Miller said "The U.S. Attorney's Office typically does not discuss charging decisions, and has no comment on the decision to dismiss this particular case,"
Fairooz's activist group, Code Pink, released a statement celebrating the court decision that said:
CODEPINK celebrates the Justice Department's decision to drop the charges against Desiree Fairooz. It was absurd that Desiree was arrested for laughing when she heard Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama say that Mr. Session's record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” The prosecution of Desiree, including one jury trial, was a waste of time and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. It was part the larger effort currently being made to crack down on activists. From the January 20th inauguration protests, the Department of Justice is prosecuting 200 people on multiple felony charges. We hope they will scale back this massive overreach and that the success we just saw in Desiree's case will encourage more people to protest in the halls of congress and on the streets.