A federal judge declared on Monday that former President Donald Trump’s actions challenging the results of the 2020 election were likely criminal.
U.S. District Judge David Carter, a nominee of former President Bill Clinton, issued a 44-page decision in the case of Trump legal adviser John Eastman claiming that Eastman likely committed federal crimes in trying to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, The Hill reported.
Carter, a judge in the Central District of California, wrote in his decision that it was “more likely than not” that Trump and Eastman had engaged in criminal conduct and “dishonestly conspired to obstruct” the counting of votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
He was ruling in a civil case involving subpoenas from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House select committee investigating the incursion of the U.S. Capitol on that day.
The subpoenas called for some of Eastman’s private communications, and the federal judge was deciding whether those communications should be shielded from the committee.
Carter ruled that 10 of the documents were privileged but that Eastman should turn over the other 101 records that the committee requested.
Trump has frequently called it the “unselect committee” and maintained that Democratic voter fraud was responsible for Biden’s victory.
President Donald J. Trump:
"The Democrats are feasting on January 6th, with no Republicans on the Unselect Committee (Cheney and Kinzinger are not Republicans!) but they are refusing to even discuss the root cause of that protest, which was the insurrection that took place pic.twitter.com/rkylNtCNe8
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 23, 2021
Carter, however, said Eastman and Trump’s actions in the dispute over the 2020 election were likely illegal.
“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” he wrote.
“Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President [Mike Pence] to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election,” the judge continued.
“If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked,” he said, “it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution.
“If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”
The judge’s ruling said Eastman “researched and planned a strategy” that would help Trump overturn the election.
“President Trump and Dr. Eastman justified the plan with allegations of election fraud — but President Trump likely knew the justification was baseless, and therefore that the entire plan was unlawful,” Carter wrote.
“Although Dr. Eastman argues that President Trump was advised several state elections were fraudulent, the Select Committee points to numerous executive branch officials who publicly stated and privately stressed to President Trump that there was no evidence of fraud.”
The ruling in the Eastman case has no direct bearing on whether Trump will face criminal charges, a fact the judge acknowledged.
“More than a year after the attack on our Capitol, the public is still searching for accountability,” Carter wrote.
“This case cannot provide it. The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit,” he said. “At most, this case is a warning about the dangers of ‘legal theories’ gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs.”
Via The Western Journal.