Trump knowingly made false legal claims about the election
There is no credible debate about John Eastman’s central role in trying to help Donald Trump reverse his defeat in 2020. The notorious Republican lawyer was the chief architect of the former president’s plan, making Eastman a key target for investigators on Jan. 6.
As regular readers can revocation, this led to months of legal battles over the ability of Congress to subpoena attorney records, which Eastman argues are protected by attorney-client privilege. The bipartisan commission backed down, arguing that communications between attorneys and clients are not protected if they discuss the commission of a crime.
In March, US District Court Judge David Carter agreedconcluding: “Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”
Like us discussed, this was a remarkable moment — there is no modern precedent for a federal court finding that a former president was likely to have committed a crime — and it led to some additional revelations. However, the court ruling refers to a set of communications from a certain time period, and a larger legal battle over other Eastman emails is ongoing.
Like NBC News, really registeredthat fight continues to go badly — not only for the controversial lawyer, but also for the former president he tried to help.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered attorney John Eastman, a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election results, to turn over 33 new documents to a House committee on Jan. 6, including a number the judge ruled were exempt from attorney privilege. client because they relate to a crime or attempted crime.
The problem for Eastman is that his privilege simply doesn’t work because of the “criminal fraud exception”: the lawyer and his client were discussing plans to commit a crime, so their communications cannot be legally protected.
Like NBC News report added, in yesterday’s case, the judge concluded that Eastman, in one of the relevant email exchanges, said Trump was aware that the number of voter fraud cases his team cites in a federal lawsuit challenging the Georgia election results was “inaccurate .” But, the judge said, Trump signed the lawsuit, “swearing” that the numbers were accurate anyway.
The closer you look at the details, the more brutal they are. It’s a written exchange from December 2020, when the Trump team was preparing to use inflated fraud numbers as part of a lawsuit in Georgia. Eastman expressed “concern” about the inclusion of questionable data, adding that Trump had been “informed” that some of the claims were not true.
Team Trump continued though. “Trump and his lawyers ended up filing suit with the same incorrect numbers without correcting, clarifying or otherwise changing them,” Carter wrote, adding: “Furthermore, President Trump signed a sworn verification that they were incorporated, incorrect numbers ‘true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct’ to the best of our knowledge and belief.”
Ordinarily, some in Trump’s position at this point might argue that he signed the materials in good faith, operating under the assumption that he received accurate information from those around him. But that won’t work in this case: Trump was warned that the inflated data was not true, and Trump and his team ignored the truth.
At a committee hearing held on January 6 last week, Republican Representative Liz Cheney reminded the Americans“[O]your nation’s federal judges are sworn to administer impartial justice to preserve our Constitution and preserve our community. Dozens of these judges have handled cases since January 6, and many have given us clear, unmistakable warnings about the direction of our republic.”
Six days later, a federal judge wrote: “Emails [Eastman has tried to hide] show that President Trump knew certain voter fraud numbers were wrong but continued to use those numbers, both in court and in public. The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently connected to the conspiracy to defraud the United States of America.”
As for what to expect as a result of these findings, my colleague Lisa Rubin explained late yesterday, all of this is likely to be “of great interest to at least two law enforcement investigations: those of the Justice Department and the Fulton County District Attorney. And the people of Fulton County should be especially interested because in both categories of crime—obstruction and conspiracy—the examples cited by Judge Carter concern Georgia.”
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