OC Federal Judge: Trump `More Likely Than Not’ Conspired to Obstruct Congress

City News Service

SANTA ANA (CNS) – A federal judge in Santa Ana ruled today that former
President Donald Trump “more likely than not” attempted to illegally
block Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election, and he likely
conspired with a former Chapman University law professor to do it.

In a 40-plus-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered
ex-Chapman professor John Eastman to turn over about 100 emails requested by a
House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He
found that 10 emails requested by the committee were privileged and did not
have to be surrendered.

But in his ruling, Carter makes plain that there was a likely
conspiracy between Trump and Eastman to obstruct Congress.

“President Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by
launching a pressure campaign to convince Vice President (Mike) Pence to
disrupt the Joint Session (of Congress) on January 6,” Carter wrote in the
ruling.

The judge wrote that Eastman, who was acting as a legal adviser for
Trump’s campaign, and Trump “more likely than not” conspired to obstruct the
congressional action to certify the results of the election, in which Joe Biden
was eventually proclaimed the winner over the incumbent.

His ruling cited meetings that occurred in the White House in the days
leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection, all aimed at pressuring Pence and
his staff to carry out a plan aimed at derailing the congressional
certification of the election.

“Based on these repeated meetings and statements, the evidence shows
that an agreement to enact the electoral count plan likely existed between
President Trump and Dr. Eastman,” Carter wrote.

The judge also wrote that evidence shows that Eastman “was aware that
his plan violated the Electoral County Act,” and that he “likely acted
deceitfully and dishonestly” in pressing a legally suspect plan to stall the
certification of the vote.

The emails that prompted the legal action were written between Jan. 4-
7 on Eastman’s Chapman University email account. Chapman officials were willing
to turn over all of the former professor’s emails to the House committee, which
amounted to about 30,000, but Eastman sued to block the handing over of the
emails to the select committee.

Carter eventually agreed to privately review 111 emails the House
committee was requesting as it investigates the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The select committee argued that it needs the emails and revealed that
it was investigating the possibility that Trump — with Eastman’s help —
was in charge of a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election of President
Joe Biden.

Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham, said earlier he did not think the
emails in question would show any evidence of an intent to commit criminal
fraud in seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election result.

Attorney Douglas Letter, who represents the select committee,
emphasized that there is a substantial need for the emails in what he said was
one of the most important investigations in the history of Congress.

Eastman was forced out of Chapman when faculty and students objected
to his attendance at a rally before the violent insurrection at the Capitol on
Jan. 6, 2021, and his work on behalf of Trump’s campaign to undo the election
results in the courts with claims of fraud that were repeatedly rejected.
Eastman is also facing a state bar ethics investigation related to his work for
Trump.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

CNS-03-28-2022 09:58

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