Former President Donald Trump signed legal documents challenging the results of the 2020 election that included voter fraud claims he knew to be false, a federal judge said in a decision on Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge David Carter in an 18-page opinion ordered that those emails between Trump and attorney John Eastman be released to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He said the information could not be withheld because it contained evidence of wrongdoing.
“The emails show that President Trump knew the number of voter fraud was wrong but continued to publish those numbers, in court and in public,” Carter said.
While the judge’s ruling does not affect the Justice Department’s separate investigation into the election-suppression efforts, any evidence that Trump signed documents he knew to be false will be considered evidence. story of criminal prosecutors trying to solve a far-flung crime. -efforts to cancel products.
The judge cited claims by Trump’s lawyers that Fulton County in Georgia miscounted more than 10,000 votes of the dead, felons and unregistered voters. Those false allegations are part of a filing by Trump’s legal team in Georgia state court on December 4, 2021.
Later that month, Eastman warned in a press release that Trump recognized “some of the allegations (and evidence presented by experts)” in the Georgia file “are false.”
Yet even after Eastman’s announcement, Trump and his team filed another legal complaint “alleging the same and unwarranted numbers,” the judge wrote.
Carter wrote that the emails were “significantly connected to the continuing conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
Representatives for Trump and Eastman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the Jan. 6 committee declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
The decision is the latest development in a months-long legal battle between Eastman — a veteran attorney and chief architect of Trump’s last efforts to stay in office — and congressional observers.
Eastman is trying to withhold documents from the committee based on attorney-client privilege claims. The committee has argued that there is a legal exception that can reveal information about ongoing or future crimes. And Carter mostly agreed, ordering hundreds of emails to be released to the House committee from the source.
In a surprising decision in March, the judge said it was “more likely than not” that Trump was guilty of trying to block the certification of the 2020 election.
Carter said in his ruling Wednesday that the filings he reviewed from Eastman and other attorneys showed that the “primary goal” of some of their lawsuits was to block the certification of the President’s election victory. Joe Biden.
All of the evidence makes it clear that “Trump filed several lawsuits not to get legal help, but to disrupt or delay the January 6th Congressional action in the courts,” he said. the judge wrote.
The emails from Eastman are part of a House committee’s investigation into a multi-pronged plan by Trump and his allies to derail the 2020 election and violence at the Capitol. The release of the emails is critical for the committee as it enters the final months of its investigation as lawmakers decide whether to file criminal charges against Trump and his associates. official at the Department of Justice.
The judge ordered Eastman to provide the documents to the committee on the evening of October 28.
Associated Press reporter Eric Tucker reported in Washington.