U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter found that several documents between Trump’s allies must be made public, as they showed that the group participated in a “knowing misrepresentation of voter fraud numbers in Georgia when seeking to overturn the election results in federal court.”
“The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,” Carter wrote. “The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
A spokesman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
In March, Carter said Trump “more likely than not” committed federal crimes in trying to obstruct the congressional count of electoral college votes on Jan. 6. That determination came in a ruling addressing scores of sensitive emails Eastman had resisted turning over to the House committee.
Eastman wrote key legal memos aimed at denying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and later cited attorney-client privilege as a shield against turning over the documents sought by the committee, saying he was representing Trump at that time.
The committee had argued in its filing that Eastman’s claim of privilege was voided by the “crime/fraud exemption.” That exemption means communication between a lawyer and their client does not have to be kept confidential if the attorney is found to be helping the client commit a crime. To resolve the dispute, the committee asked Carter, the judge, to privately review the documents to see whether he thought Eastman had, in fact, been assisting Trump in criminal acts.
In the Wednesday filing, Carter concluded from the collective documents that Trump’s legal team currently “make 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.”
The status of key investigations involving Donald Trump
In one email, Eastman wrote that Trump signed paperwork for a lawsuit in Georgia on Dec. 1 but has “since been made aware that some of the allegations” in it are “inaccurate.” Eastman then wrote that for Trump to sign new paperwork for that lawsuit “with that knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate.”
But, Carter wrote, “Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed the complaint” with the knowingly inaccurate numbers. Carter also wrote that Trump signed a legal document, under oath, attesting to the court in Georgia that the numbers “are true and correct” to the best of his knowledge.
Carter has ordered Eastman to disclose more than 30 documents sought by the House committee by 2 p.m. on Oct. 28.