The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol said Wednesday they had adequate evidence showing former President Donald Trump and his allies engaged in “criminal conspiracy” in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, outlining the first major effort by the lawmakers to link Trump’s actions to a federal crime.
The allegations against Trump were made in a California court filing responding to a civil lawsuit by an adviser of the former president, John Eastman, according to the Associated Press.
The committee claimed that it gathered evidence which showed that Trump, Eastman and others could potentially be hit with criminal charges including an effort to obstruct the certification of election results by Congress and “conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
The filing also alleges that the former president’s repeated false claims about the election being stolen may have broken a statute against fraud, the New York Times reported.
The court filing is the first formal effort by the committee to link Trump’s actions to a federal crime, however, the lawmakers themselves do not have the power to bring criminal charges on their own.
Based on its findings, the committee is expected to make a referral to the Justice Department, which may then choose to pursue the case.
“The evidence supports an inference that President Trump and members of his campaign knew he had not won enough legitimate state electoral votes to be declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential election during the January 6 Joint Session of Congress, but the President nevertheless sought to use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor,” the court filing said.
The court filing by the committee was in response to a lawsuit filed by Eastman, who is attempting to block the panel’s subpoena for his documents on the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the election. The committee issued the subpoena in January following reports of a memo written by Eastman which purportedly outlined a plan to use former vice president Mike Pence to invalidate Joe Biden’s election win. Eastman, as part of his lawsuit, has argued that the documents sought were protected by attorney-client privilege.
Jan. 6 Committee Lays Out Potential Criminal Charges Against Trump (New York Times)
Jan. 6 panel claims Trump engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’ (Associated Press)
original source: January 6 House Panel Alleges Criminal Conspiracy By Trump In Court Filing