Emails show Trump lawyers made voter fraud claims they knew were false in federal court, judge says

Washington – Communication from conservative lawyer John Eastman show former President Donald Trump and his lawyers made allegations of voter fraud that he knew were false in federal courts and to the public to delay the counting of state electoral votes by Congress on January 6, 2021, a federal judge in California said. in an order Wednesday.

The revelation by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter came as part of an ongoing legal battle between Eastman, a conservative attorney behind the legal strategy to reject state electoral votes, and the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol via e- emails. it convened from Eastman.

Eastman has sought to keep the emails — from an account he used while serving as dean at Chapman University — from the select committee, arguing they are covered by attorney-client and work-product privilege. Carter has reviewed the records to determine whether Eastman’s privileged claims apply to the materials sought by the House panel.

In his 18-page order, Carter focused on a subset of 536 documents protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges and whether they should be disclosed under the felony fraud exception, which applies to documents and communications that were in furtherance of illegal or fraudulent behavior. The judge said the crime fraud exemption applies to eight communications and he ordered all eight handed over to the select committee.

Four of the eight, Carter wrote, were documents “in which Dr. Eastman and other attorneys suggest that—regardless of merit—the primary goal of the filing [lawsuits] is to delay or otherwise disrupt the vote on January 6.”

He quotes an email from Trump’s lawyers saying that “[m]It may be enough to delay the consideration of Georgia if this case simply languishes in the Supreme Court, without a decision being made on the case.”

“This email, read in conjunction with other documents in this review, makes clear that President Trump filed certain lawsuits not to obtain legal relief, but to disrupt or delay the Jan. 6 congressional proceedings through the courts,” Carter wrote. “The court finds that these four documents are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of the crime of obstruction.”

The remaining four, the judge said, “demonstrate an effort by President Trump and his lawyers to make false claims in federal court with the purpose of delaying the January 6 vote. The evidence confirms that this effort was carried out in at least one lawsuit filed in Georgia.”

The order cites allegations made by Trump and his lawyers in a Dec. 4, 2020, filing with a state in Georgia that Fulton County improperly counted votes from dead people, felons and unregistered voters.

The former president and his lawyers then filed a complaint in federal court citing the same numbers, although Eastman had relayed “concerns” from Trump’s legal team “about including specific numbers in the section dealing with felons, deceased, displaced, etc. ,” Carter wrote, citing Eastman’s records.

Eastman also explained in a document reviewed by the court that Trump had been made aware that some of the claims were inaccurate.

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

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

“President Trump further signed an affidavit in which he swore under oath that the incorporated, inaccurate figures ‘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 that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of of a conspiracy to defraud. United States.”

Carter has previously held that Trump and Eastman “more likely than not committed obstruction of an official proceeding” — the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress — in violation of federal law and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

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