In Los Angeles during December of 1941, the Friends of Progress, led by Robert Noble and Ellis O. Jones, held a series of mock trials impeaching President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Proclaimed, "The President was convicted as traitorous to the American people for getting us into the war and giving away our Nazi and so forth." On December 16, 1941, they were arrested with F.K. Ferenz (film distributor for the local Bund) for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. However, within weeks charges were dropped. U.S. Attorney General Biddle had pledged to protect the right to dissent of American citizens.
Biddle came under attack from local community leaders for delaying charges against the Friends of Progress. State and Federal agents worked diligently during the early months of 1942 to gather evidence against the leaders. Noble, Jones and Ferenze were eventually convicted of violating the California Subversive Organization Registration Act and the Federal Espionage Act of 1917. In 1945, the state conviction was overturned for lack of proof while the federal conviction withstood appeal.