According to the House select committee tasked with investigating the January 6 Capitol riot alleged in a court filing on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump and a right-wing lawyer, John Eastman, were part of a “criminal conspiracy.”
That conspiracy included efforts aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election, and the panel is using the filing as an attempt to convince a judge to allow the committee access to emails from Eastman.
Eastman, who is claiming attorney-client privilege regarding his emails, helped orchestrate the plot, the committee alleged. The filing is the most extensive release to date from the committee as they are looking to obtain the emails, and it comes several months in advance of the House committee releasing its final report on its findings on Trump.
House members have signaled they might make a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Trump, depending on the findings, and the House’s claims on Wednesday could be seen as a preview of a case that federal prosecutors could make.
In Wednesday’s 61-page court filing, lawyers for the House explained: “Evidence and information available to the Committee establishes a good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts, and that Plaintiff’s legal assistance was used in furtherance of those activities.”
So far, Eastman and Trump have not been accused of any crime by federal or state prosecutors, and none of Trump’s advisers have been charged either.
The House additionally pointed to Trump’s actions to overturn the election, saying he was criminally looking to stop Congress from certifying the election results.
“The President called and met with state officials, met numerous times with officials in the Department of Justice, tweeted and spoke about these issues publicly, and engaged in a personal campaign to persuade the public that the election had been tainted by widespread fraud,” House lawyers wrote.
“The evidence supports an interference that President Trump and members of his campaign knew he had not won enough legitimate state electoral votes to be declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential election during the January 6 Joint Session of Congress, but the President nevertheless sought to use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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