A federal judge said former President Donald Trump tried to illegally obstruct Congress during the January 6 electoral college confirmation.
Judge David Carter wrote that Trump, along with lawyer John Eastman, likely broke the law during that period.
Carter’s Decision Won’t Mean Prosecution For Trump, Eastman
Carter wrote his ruling that upheld the subpoena for nearly all 111 documents from Eastman. The select House committee investigating January 6 requested Eastman for a copy of those documents.
He wrote that Trump and Eastman, “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history.”
According to Carter, the plan to obstruct congress thankfully did not materialize. “Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower — it was a coup in search of a legal theory,” Carter wrote.
If the plan worked, the peaceful transition of power would have ended permanently. This would have undermined “democracy and the Constitution” as well.
Despite Carter’s decision, neither Trump nor Eastman will face prosecution for the suspected illegal activity.
Among the documents subpoenaed by the committee was Eastman’s memo involving former Vice President Mike Pence.
He detailed a plan on how Pence can reject the certification of Biden’s election wins in seven states. This was supposed to happen during a joint session of Congress on January 6.
If the plan succeeded, Congress could declare that Trump won the Electoral College. Or, it could send the election to the House of Representatives.
As Republicans controlled the House’s majority at the time, they would likely pick Trump as the winner.
Pence Refused To Go Along
However, Vice President Mike Pence did not go along with Eastman’s plan. He insisted that he has no power to reject individual states’ election results.
The refusal infuriated Trump, who insisted that Biden’s election victory was tainted with fraud.
Prior to January 6, Carter noted that Trump and Eastman hosted a briefing on January 2. There, the two allegedly urged several hundred state legislators to decertify the electors voting for Biden.
Carter also cited the fact that Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on the same day. He asked Raffensperger to find enough votes to overturn Biden’s election victory in the state.
Two days later, Eastman met Trump in the Oval Office, along with Pence and his staff and counsel. Eastman presented two courses of action for the VP on January 6.
He can either reject electors or delay the count. Eastman leaned toward the first option, as confirmed a day later when he talked to Pence’s counsel.
Trump Likely Tried To Obstruct Congress
In his 44-page ruling, Carter said that a crime may likely have been committed. “Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.
If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”
Later in the ruling, Carter ordered the release of 101 documents and allowed 10 to remain confidential. Eastman’s lawyer Charles Burnham said that even though they disagree with the order, they will comply.
However, Burnham said that Carter relied on evidence “cherry picked by the committee.”
Watch the CBS Evening News video reporting that a federal judge finds Trump “more likely than not” illegally tried to obstruct Congress on Jan. 6:
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