A criminal conspiracy to deceive the United States, the Jan. 6 select committee claims evidence shows then-President Donald Trump and his team tried to hinder Congress’ tallying of electoral votes.
The committee’s conclusions, filed in federal court late Wednesday, suggested Trump broke many laws by trying to stop Congress from declaring his defeat.
A good-faith basis for establishing that the President and members of his campaign conspired to defraud the United States, the Select Committee claimed in a court filing.
The committee characterised a president who had been repeatedly informed that he had lost the election and that his charges of fraud were false — only to ignore them and continue to mislead the American public.
He then ordered key aides to keep planning to rig the election.
The group disclosed its conclusions as part of a legal campaign to get John Eastman, an attorney who helped Trump sabotage the 2020 election, to produce vital emails.
This included campaign adviser Jason Miller, White House communications staffer Ben Williamson, Pence national security adviser Keith Kellogg, Pence attorney Greg Jacob and Pence chief of staff Marc Short.
Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and his top adviser Richard Donoghue both spoke before the panel on Wednesday night.
In his deposition, Eastman asserted his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination approximately 150 times while refusing to answer committee questions.
The National Archives recently disclosed a page from Trump’s private Jan. 6 schedule to the Jan. 6 select committee. Calls with Pence and then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. (R-Ga.).
The evidence provides a glimpse into the committee’s final findings, but it is only a fraction of the 650+ interviews conducted.
Defrauding the United States by meddling with the election certification and spreading false information about the results, and a violation of the District of Columbia’s common fraud law, the committee says Trump and his friends may have done.
“Like all attorneys, Dr John Eastman has a responsibility to preserve client confidences, even at significant personal danger and expense,” said Charles Burnham, Eastman’s attorney.
As a result, the Select Committee has accused Dr Eastman of criminal behaviour. Because this is a civil case, Dr Eastman will not be entitled to the same constitutional protections as individuals accused of criminal offences. Regardless, we look forward to replying soon.”
According to the committee, Trump’s work with Eastman to encourage Pence to take criminal actions may have met this condition, especially as Trump continued to circulate baseless fraud charges.
The panel’s findings may increase pressure on the Justice Department to divulge its own opinion on the topic.
Many Trump fans who stormed the Capitol were charged with obstructing the counting of electoral votes, but applying that legislation to the former president is more difficult.
Miller reported a direct encounter with Trump in which campaign officials told him he had lost, but “the President nonetheless sought to utilise the Vice President to influence the results in his favour.”
Miller told the committee that Trump was informed “he was going to lose” by campaign adviser Matt Oczkowski in the Oval Office. But, according to Miller, Trump refused to listen.
“He assumed Matt was looking at the numbers and not wider matters like legality and election integrity issues which, as a data man, he may not have been watching,” Miller told the panel.
The majority of the committee’s legal filing centred on reconstructing Eastman’s efforts to justify directing Pence to reverse the election alone on Jan. 6, 2021.
Even after a violent mob led by Trump stormed the Capitol, forcing Pence and Congress to escape, Eastman refused to back down. Eastman kept urging Pence to void the vote.
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“Thanks to your crap, we are now under siege,” Pence’s lawyer Jacob wrote to Eastman.
“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your supervisor didn’t do enough to let the American people see what happened,” Eastman wrote in emails obtained by the panel.
His wife and three children were watching the news and he was afraid for his safety. Jacob later apologised for his profanity.
Even after this interaction, Eastman made one last attempt to persuade Pence to suspend the counting of electoral votes, admitting it would be a “minor” violation of the Electoral Count Act.
“Plaintiff knew his acts would violate the law, but he persuaded the Vice President to take them,” the committee stated.
“Dr Eastman’s communications may demonstrate that he helped Donald Trump pursue a corrupt strategy to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to delay the transfer of power,” stated Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
The select committee revealed its findings to persuade a federal court to order Eastman to turn over more of his own emails to congressional investigators. Eastman sued to keep the panel from seeing his Chapman correspondence, citing attorney-client confidentiality.
This may convince Judge David Carter, who has consistently ruled against Eastman, that none of Eastman’s records are protected by privilege.
Carter, a Californian, rejected Eastman’s attempts to hide his data, noting the select committee’s work’s urgency. To avoid any potential misunderstandings, Carter has asked Eastman to immediately evaluate 90,000 pages of emails and attachments for attorney-client privilege.
Forcing Eastman to prioritise emails exchanged between Jan. 4 and 7, 2021, and disclosing his legal relationship with Trump, he has regularly sided with the committee’s demands.
But the committee said Eastman’s alleged association with Trump doesn’t support his claim of attorney-client privilege.
The panel said Eastman supplied a letter identifying his client as Trump’s campaign, but it was unsigned. An attorney-client relationship cannot be established throughout the relevant time period based on an unsigned and unauthenticated engagement letter.