January 6 panel says Trump engaged in 'criminal conspiracy'
In a federal court filing, the House panel investigating the Capitol attack of 2021 has indicated they had enough evidence to suggest the former president is guilty of committing crimes.
Last year has been a rough ride for former President Donald Trump. In a federal court filing, the House panel investigating the insurgency at the Capitol previewed some of its conclusions, and investigators indicated for the first time that they had enough evidence to suggest former President Donald Trump committed crimes.
Although Trump attempted to hide the records, the documents provide an early glimpse into the panel's potential conclusions, which may or may not lead to Trump's prosecution. The panel's conclusions are scheduled to be submitted in the coming months as the committee has examined over 650 witnesses in the investigation against Trump supporters' insurgency at the Capitol storming.
The insurrection left 7 people dead and more than 100 officers injured, including four officers who later committed suicide. More than 700 persons have been charged as a result of the investigation.
The panel detailed in its 221-page filing that it procured evidence of the defeated Trump and his allies engaging in "criminal conspiracy" to stop the certification of Joe Biden's presidency.
The filing was made in response to a lawsuit filed by John Eastman, a lawyer and law professor who was conspiring with Trump seeking to reverse the election and is attempting to keep documents hidden from the committee.
Eastman's lawyer attempted to keep his client's documents protected even though a legal exception allows a lawyer to reveal communications if they are related to current or future crimes.
Conspiracy to defraud the United States
The committee says evidence of 3 crimes exists, all connected to Trump's collaboration with Eastman.
The information it has acquired supports a conclusion that Trump, Eastman, and numerous other associates of Trump "entered into an agreement to defraud the US."
According to the panel, Trump and his associates interfered with the election certification process, spread false information regarding election fraud, and encouraged state and federal authorities to help in that endeavor.
The panel also details how Trump attempted to obstruct, influence, or impede the ceremonial process and "did so corruptly," while pressuring his Vice President Mike Pence as well.
Pence's chief lawyer reported a meeting with Eastman at the White House on January 5 in one interview. According to Greg Jacob, Eastman began by saying, "I’m here asking you to reject the electors,” adding that he made notes during the conversation. "That's how he started the meeting."
Eastman and Jacob exchanged a series of angry emails on January 6, as Pence presided over the legislative session.
The emails provide an astonishing glimpse into the scope of the pressure campaign, which lasted late into the evening, even after the rioters were thrown out and the stressed Congress reconvened to certify the results. He added that "thanks to your bulls—-, we are now under siege," to which Eastman replied, “the ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary.”
The committee's last accusation is "common law fraud," or fraudulently stating facts with the awareness that they are untrue. Trump launched a large-scale effort to persuade the public and federal judges that the 2020 election was rigged and that he, not Biden, had won the vote. His efforts went so far as to include a Facebook video of Georgia officials pulling suitcases of ballots from under a table.
“The president continued to rely on this allegation in his efforts to overturn the results of the election."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman and Democrat Adam Schiff urged the Justice Department to be more aggressive in their probe, citing that the department "shouldn't be waiting on our committee."
Trump children refuse to testify
Trump's children have also been sought after as they refused to testify in a corruption case against their father.
New York's top justice official had subpoenaed ex-President Donald Trump, his son Don Jr., and his daughter Ivanka in an investigation into the family business dealings, a court filing revealed last month.
According to the document, State Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, issued the subpoenas seeking their testimony last month.
"Despite numerous attempts to delay our investigation by the Trump Organization, we are confident that our questions will be answered and the truth will be uncovered because no one is above the law," said a spokesperson for James on Monday.
An important factor that remains unanswered regarding the insurrection is the role of GOP representatives.
Investigators questioned Eastman whether Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri — the two senators who formally protested to the count that night — had been invited to speak at Trump's rally the morning of Jan. 6, where Trump exhorted the enraged audience to "fight like hell." They also inquired as to whether Eastman was aware of why the senators did not speak at the protest.