A federal judge has asserted it is “more likely than not” that former President Donald Trump committed crimes in his attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election
On Monday, a federal judge ruled that it is “more likely than not” that former President Donald Trump committed crimes in his attempt to prevent the certification of the 2020 election, ordering the release of more than 100 emails from Trump adviser John Eastman to the congressional committee investigating the insurrection.
The decision by U.S. District Court Judge David Carter was a major legal victory for the House panel, which is investigating emails from Eastman, the lawyer who advised Trump during his attempt to reverse the election, according to reports.
“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” Carter, who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton, wrote in the ruling submitted in the federal Central District of California.
Eastman was attempting to keep documents from the committee by claiming attorney-client privilege between himself and the previous president. The committee responded earlier this month, claiming that there is a legal provision that allows information about existing or future crimes to be exposed.
Eastman’s lawyer, Charles Burnham, said in a statement on Monday that his client has a commitment to his attorney-client privilege and that his case against the committee “seeks to fulfill that responsibility.”
“It is not an attempt to ‘hide’ documents or ‘obstruct’ congressional investigations, as the January 6th committee falsely claims,” Burnham said.
Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, also responded to the judge’s decision, calling it an “absurd and baseless ruling by a Clinton-appointed judge in California.” He called the House committee’s investigation a “circus of partisanship.”
As per the usnews, the committee’s filing on March 3 was their most official effort to link the former president to a criminal crime. Lawmakers do not have the authority to file criminal charges on their own; instead, they can only refer a case to the Justice Department. The department has been looking into the riots from last year, but there has been no sign that it will press charges against Trump.
In court documents, the committee said that Trump and his associates engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Trump and his associates then distributed false information about the presidential election’s outcome and pushed state officials to overturn it, potentially breaching various laws, said the panel.