Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Federal judge finds Trump ‘likely’ to commit crimes in office

In a ruling related to a congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2001 attack on the US capital, a federal judge ruled this week that it is “more likely than not” that former President Donald Trump has two separate federal committed crimes as part of an attempt to overthrow Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential contest.

The verdict, by David O. Carter, U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California’s Southern Division, relates to an attempt by attorney John C. Eastman, an adviser to the former president, to allege that certain documents by the American house wanted. Selected committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the capital of the United States is privileged, and that the committee is not entitled to it.

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The case involved 111 documents, the majority of which the judge ruled were non-privileged material. Congressional investigators have argued that the remaining 11, who could have been privileged under normal circumstances, are subject to the “crime fraud exception”, which stipulates that documents cannot be considered privileged if they were created to promote the commission of a crime. not.

Key finding

Carter ruled that only one of the documents was subject to the crime fraud exception, but in doing so, he explicitly stated that he believed the evidence in the case indicated that Trump had committed two federal crimes.

“Based on the evidence, the court finds that it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” Carter wrote.

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In addition, he wrote: “Based on the evidence, the court finds it more likely than not that President Trump was corruptly trying to obstruct the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”

President Joe Biden Speaks From Statuary Hall At The Us Capitol In Celebration Of The One-Year Anniversary Of The January 6 Riot At The Capitol By Supporters Loyal To Then-President Donald Trump, Thursday, January 6, 2022 In Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks from Statuary Hall at the US Capitol in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the January 6 riot at the Capitol by supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump, Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Washington.

A legal first

“Since this is the first time, I think, a judicial opinion ever calls a president a criminal, one can say it is unusual,” said Mark A. Graber, a law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, told VOA.

The verdict, Graber said, was “strong and blunt, but probably to the point. The evidence shows that the former president probably committed a crime. “

Graber pointed out, however, to the extent that the verdict itself does any harm to the former president, it is, at least for now, purely political.

Trump has not been formally charged with a crime, Graber noted, and “a judge cannot make a decision announcing that a person is a criminal.”

Trump responds

A spokesman for the former president called Carter’s statement “absurd and unfounded”.

Trump, who has used his personal website to issue statements since he was removed from major social media platforms in 2021, apparently responded to the ruling in two statements.

One, released on Monday, said: “So, the Radical Left Democrats in Congress and the Disapproved Committee continue to seek the destruction of lives of many good people, but have no interest in getting behind the criminals and thugs. to go on cheating like crazy dogs on the 2020.Presidential election.All the evidence is in and conclusive, but they, and the Fake News Media, refuse to look at it or report it.They call it the Big Lie, but the Great Lie is exactly the opposite – they are the liars, they are the deceivers … ”

The former president followed up on Tuesday with a second statement: “So, let’s get it right. The Democrats are committing massive and overwhelming voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and they want the Republicans to go to jail for investigating and protesting a very skewed election? Republicans need to get tough (and smart!) And not let them get away with the Crime of the Century! ”

U.S. courts have repeatedly found no credible evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, rejecting a spate of lawsuits brought by Trump’s allies.

Possible road map

Although Carter’s ruling is not the same as an actual indictment of the former president, it can certainly be seen as a roadmap for a criminal prosecution that some federal judges may find compelling, according to observers.

“It’s clear that Carter is trying to push people in that direction and judges are constantly providing road maps,” Graber said.

It remains unclear whether the Justice Department intends to file any charges against the former president.

The verdict seems to make it more likely that the January 6 committee will make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice. However, this already seemed likely, as members of the committee have publicly said they believe they have evidence that the former president committed crimes related to the attempt to overthrow the election.

Other evidence is missing

The verdict came just a day before the Washington Post and CBS News broke the story that the White House records of President Trump’s phone calls on January 6 were essentially empty for more than seven and a half hours, including the time when the Capitol was under assault. .

The records, known as the president’s “daily diary”, are required by law to contain a record of the president’s activities during the day, including the names of people he talks to on the phone. The lack of a record of phone calls during the attack on the Capitol clashes with numerous reports from Trump who spoke to lawmakers and others during the time in question.

The lack of a record has led to speculation that Trump used phones that belonged to assistants, or perhaps “burner” phones that were meant to be used and then thrown away.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Trump said: “I have no idea what a wave phone is. To the best of my knowledge, I have never even heard the term.”

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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