Jan. 6 Panel Claims Trump ‘Engaged in Criminal Conspiracy’
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The Jan. 6 select committee believes former President Donald Trump “may have engaged in criminal acts” to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
The development marks the first time that lawyers for the committee have outlined allegations of a potential criminal case against Trump.
The committee “also has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States,” according to court documents.
In the filing, the committee alleges they have evidence that could lead to Trump, his ally John Eastman, and others potentially facing criminal violations charges, including “obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the American people.”
The panel’s latest court filing came in response to Eastman, one of Trump’s former lawyers, who withheld documents citing attorney-client privilege. Eastman allegedly tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results.
Jan. 6 panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued a joint statement saying they ” believe evidence in our possession justifies review of these documents.”
“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,” the statement read.
Charles Burnham, a lawyer for Eastman, said the panel “has responded to Dr. Eastman’s efforts to discharge this responsibility by accusing him of criminal conduct.”
“Because this is a civil matter, Dr. Eastman will not have the benefit of the constitutional protections normally afforded to those accused by their government of criminal conduct,” Burnham said. “Nonetheless, we look forward to responding in due course.”