On Wednesday a federal court ordered the release of emails from former Trump attorney John Eastman to House investigators citing evidence that the emails were created in furtherance of a crime linked to Trump’s efforts to disrupt the 2020 election.
Judge David O. Carter remarked that the emails “indicate that President Trump knew that the particular statistics of voter fraud were inaccurate yet continued to promote those numbers,” referring to Trump’s repeated claims in court and to the public.
The emails are “sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States,” he continued.
Even though Carter, a federal district judge in central California, had already turned over to the House select committee investigating the US Capitol attack many of Eastman’s emails dating back to around January 2021, the two sides were still at odds over 562 more documents from Eastman’s Chapman University email account.
With respect to eight of the more than five hundred Eastman documents the judge was reviewing, he or she ruled that the documents could be released under the so-called crime-fraud exception which permits disclosure of otherwise privileged materials if the communications were related to or in furtherance of illegal or fraudulent conduct.
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Email chains concerning possible election litigation made up four of the files. Carter stated in his letters that “Dr. Eastman and other attorneys suggest that – regardless of the merits – the primary objective of filing is to delay or otherwise disturb the January 6 vote.”
NEWS: A federal judge has ordered several more of John EASTMAN’s emails disclosed to the Jan. 6 select committee, saying they’re subject to disclosure under the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 19, 2022
For example, Carter’s recent order cites an email from Trump’s lawyers in which they say, “merely having this matter pending in the Supreme Court, and not ruled on, may be enough to delay consideration of Georgia.”
To delay or disrupt the January 6 congressional proceedings through the courts, the ruling stated that “this email, read in context with other documents in this review makes clear that President Trump filed certain lawsuits not to obtain legal relief but to disrupt or delay the proceedings through the courts.”
It goes on to say, “The Court determines that these four documents are sufficiently linked and in furtherance of the obstruction offense.”
The judge’s order to reveal four further emails “show an effort by President Trump and his attorneys to advance fraudulent claims in federal court for the purpose of postponing the January 6 vote.”
Carter mentioned the election lawsuits Trump brought in Georgia as evidence. The judge then cited an email from 2020 in which Eastman said that Trump knew some of the charges made in an election challenge filed in a state court in early December were false.
On December 30, 2020, Eastman emailed Carter saying, “Although the President signed a verification for [the state court file] back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the charges (and evidence presented by the experts) have been false.” It wouldn’t be fair to ask him to sign another verification after he’s learned of the change (and its incorporation by reference).
Yet Trump and his counsel went on to file a federal lawsuit utilizing the same false data, Carter claimed. Trump’s lawyers attached the state court election challenge to the federal lawsuit they filed, rather than citing the figures in the complaint itself. Carter pointed out that Trump had submitted it without “rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise modifying” the fictitious fraud figures.
The federal complaint filed by Trump also included a footnote that Carter interpreted as a Trump “attempt to disclaim his responsibility over the deceptive allegations.” In the endnote, Trump admitted that he was only going off of the numbers that were given to him. Carter claimed on Wednesday that the candidate’s lawyers told him the supposed voter fraud numbers were false.
The committee’s inquiry into the former President’s election reversal strategies will be bolstered by Carter’s allegations that Trump and Eastman “knowingly” misrepresented voter fraud counts in federal court.
The committee has consistently stated that a crucial part of Trump’s plan to reverse the 2020 election results was to launch frivolous litigation meant to postpone the certification of the results in key swing states. The judge’s ruling echoes that sentiment.
The Justice Department and the Atlanta prosecutor have both opened criminal investigations into potential criminal activity related to the 2020 election after the emails were made public.
A judge ordered on Wednesday that Eastman turn up sections of information pertaining to his suggestion for then-Vice President Mike Pence to disrupt certification of the 2020 election. Thirty-three documents were ordered disclosed in total, under the amended order, which set a deadline for doing so for October 28.
Earlier this month, the committee stated that Eastman has been “consistently unreliable” as he’s tried to shield his communications from the ongoing examination and that the investigators should now have access to more emails from one of his work email accounts.
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