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The Jan. 6 committee concluded in filed court documents that it believes twice-impeached President Trump “may have engaged in criminal acts.”
“The facts we’ve gathered strongly suggest that Dr. Eastman’s emails may show that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to impede the transfer of power,” panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo) said in a joint statement.
An email exchange between John Eastman, a lawyer who was working with Trump’s legal team, and Greg Jacob, a top lawyer for then-Vice President Mike Pence, provided damning evidence for the committee.
Email exchange between lawyers
According to CNN, included in the filed court documents was an email exchange between Trump’s lawyer, Eastman, and Pence’s lawyer, Jacob. Evidently, Eastman attempted to push the idea that Pence had the constitutional authority to reject certain electors from swing states when the votes were counted in Congress the next day.
“I have run down every legal trail placed before me to its conclusion, and I respectfully conclude that as a legal framework, it is a results-oriented position that you would never support if attempted by the opposition, and essentially entirely made up,” Jacob wrote back to Eastman. “And thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege.”
To which Eastman responds: “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the American people can see for themselves what happened.”
In his next response, Jacob drops the hammer: “The advice provided has, whether intended or not, functioned as a serpent in the ear of the President of the United States, the most powerful office in the entire world. And here we are.”
“Respectfully, it was gravely, gravely irresponsible for you to entice the President with an academic theory that had no legal viability, and that you well know we would lose before any judge who heard and decided the case. And if the courts declined to hear it, I suppose it could only be decided in the streets. The knowing amplification of that theory through numerous surrogates, whipping large numbers of people into a frenzy over something with no chance of ever attaining legal force through actual process of law, has led us to where we are.”
Jan 6 committee finds “potential criminal acts”
The Jan. 6 committee alleges they have evidence that could lead to Trump, Eastman, and others potentially facing criminal violations charges, such as “obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the American people.”
“Before the 2020 election even took place, President Trump and his supporters began to lay the groundwork to cast doubt on the results,” the court documents said. “On election night, Mr. Trump began falsely asserting, without basis, that he had prevailed and called on states to stop counting mail-in and absentee votes. In the six weeks that followed, President Trump’s legal team and his supporters took their allegations to the courts, ultimately litigating and losing more than 60 challenges to the election results in seven states.”
The select committee revealed its evidence as part of a bid to convince a federal judge to require Eastman to provide more of his own emails, held by his former employer Chapman University, to congressional investigators.
Eastman has already invoked his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination almost 150 times during questioning from the panel.