Judge Carter rules Donald Trump likely committed federal crimes in trying to overturn 2020 election
The ruling found that Trump and his lawyer John Eastman likely conspired to obstruct the work of Congress after an email regarding 6 January attack was released.
A federal judge has found that the attempts by former President Donald Trump and his lawyer to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election probably constituted a federal crime. In his written verdict, Judge David O. Carter ruled that the plan may well have attempted to obstruct the work of Congress and to defraud the United States.
In a response published on Monday, Judge Carter wrote: “The illegality of the plan was obvious.”
“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 to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”
These remarks were filed as part of the ongoing investigation by a House select committee into the attack on Congress on 6 January 2021 and the attempts made by Trump and his team to discredit the results of the election.
Trump lawyer John Eastman ordered to release emails to investigators
After initially appearing to cooperate to some degree with the House inquiry, members of Trump’s inner circle have closed ranks in the past six months and have largely refused to hand over any documents to investigators.
The comments authored by Judge Carter came in an order for conservative lawyer John Eastman to release 101 emails relating to Trump’s election claims to investigators. Eastman is known to have written a memo regarding Trump’s post-election plans which the New York Times says “members of both parties have likened to a blueprint for a coup.”
The House committee has already brought together evidence which it believes could see Trump, Eastman and other members of the former President’s team charged with federal crimes.
Who is Judge David O. Carter?
Today’s bombshell verdict comes from Judge David O. Carter, who sits on the District Court for the Central District of California. The 77-year-old was an appointment of President Bill Clinton and assumed office in 1998.
His ruling could make him the first federal judge in the history of the United States to determine that a president is likely to have committed a federal crime while in office, a major development in the ongoing investigation into the 6 January plot.
Judge Carter’s decision in isolation will have no bearing on the potential charges that could be brought against Trump, but will heap the pressure on prosecutors to continue the investigation. The Department of Justice has largely remained separate from the actions of the House committee but today’s assertion from the federal judge could change all that.
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