Emails show Trump and lawyers pushed voter fraud charges they knew to be false in federal court, judge says

Washington— communications from conservative lawyer John Eastman show that former President Donald Trump and his lawyers pushed voter fraud allegations he knew to be false in federal court and to the public in order to delay Congress’ counting of state electoral votes on January 6, 2021, said a California federal judge. in an order on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter’s revelation came amid an ongoing legal battle between Eastman, a conservative attorney behind the legal strategy to throw out the state’s election votes, and the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by email. he was subpoenaed from Eastman.

Eastman has sought to keep the emails – from an account he used while dean of Chapman University – from the select committee, saying they are covered by the attorney-client privilege. attorney and work product. Carter reviewed the records to determine whether Eastman’s claims of privilege apply to the documents sought by the House panel.

In his Order 18 pages, Carter focused on a subset of 536 documents protected by attorney-client and work product privileges, and whether they should be disclosed under the criminal fraud exception, which applies to documents and communications that were used for illegal or fraudulent conduct. The judge said the felony fraud exception applied to eight communications, and he ordered that all eight be turned over to the select committee.

Four of the eight, Carter wrote, were documents “in which Dr. [lawsuits] is to delay or otherwise disrupt the January 6 vote.”

He quotes an email from Trump’s lawyers stating that “[m]Just having this case pending before the Supreme Court, undecided, could be enough to delay Georgia’s review.”

“This email, read in the context of other documents in this review, makes it clear that President Trump brought certain lawsuits not to seek legal relief, but to disrupt or delay the January 6 Congressional proceedings before the courts,” Carter wrote. “The court finds that these four documents are sufficiently related and in pursuit of the crime of obstruction.”

The other four, the judge said, “demonstrate an effort by President Trump and his attorneys to assert false allegations in federal court in an effort to delay the Jan. 6 vote. Evidence supports that effort was undertaken.” in at least one lawsuit filed in Georgia.”

The order cites allegations pushed by Trump and his attorneys in a Dec. 4, 2020, filing in a Georgia state court that Fulton County miscounted the votes of deceased persons, felons and unvoted voters. registered.

The former president and his lawyers later filed a lawsuit in federal court citing the same numbers, even though Eastman had raised Trump’s legal team’s “concerns” about the inclusion of specific numbers in the paragraph. dealing with criminals, deceased, displaced, etc.” Carter wrote, citing Eastman’s records.

Eastman also explained in a court-reviewed document that Trump was told some of the allegations were inaccurate.

“Although the president signed a verification for [the state court filing] back on December 1, he has since been told that some of the claims (and evidence presented by the experts) were inaccurate. For him to sign a new verification with this knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate,” Eastman wrote, according to Carter’s order.

The incorrect numbers, however, were included in the former president’s lawsuit filed in federal court, Carter wrote.

“President Trump, further, signed an affidavit swearing that the incorporated and inaccurate numbers ‘are true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct’ to the best of his knowledge and belief,” the judge said. . “The emails show that President Trump knew the specific voter fraud numbers were wrong, but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public. The Court finds these emails to be wrong. sufficiently connected to a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

Carter has previously detained that Trump and Eastman “more likely than not obstructed due process” – joint January 6 session of Congress – in violation of federal law and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

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