United States District Court Judge David Carter said in a Monday ruling that former President Donald Trump likely committed federal offenses by attempting to prevent the counting of electoral votes during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
“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,” Carter said, claiming that the evidence suggests that Trump violated a federal statute dealing with “corruptly” obstructing, influencing, impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.
Carter’s determination was part of a ruling in the case of John Eastman, former law school dean at Chapman University, whose emails are being sought by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. While Carter recognized that a number of Eastman’s emails are protected by privilege, one email that is not is subject to disclosure due to the exception to attorney-client privilege pertaining to communications involving the commission of a crime.
“President Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by launching a pressure campaign to convince Vice President Pence to disrupt the Joint Session on January 6,” Carter wrote, pointing to Trump’s attempts to persuade Pence to reject electoral votes or delay counting them.