Jan. 6 Committee Says It Has Evidence Trump Broke the Law

The findings, the panel said, show that the former president engaged in “criminal conspiracy.”

January 29, 2022, Conroe, Texas, USA: DONALD TRUMP speaks at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds during a Save America Rally. (Credit Image: © Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press Wire)Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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Donald Trump and his allies engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to defraud the United States by attempting to block the certification of the 2020 presidential election, the House panel investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol said in a legal brief filed late Wednesday.

The committee’s conclusion that the former president may have broken multiple laws in his efforts to overturn the election is the most damning allegation to emerge yet—and marks the first time the House panel has formally accused Trump of criminal activity.

The filing was a response to Trump-allied lawyer John Eastman’s effort to shield his communications from a subpoena by invoking attorney-client privilege. You might remember Eastman as the man who created what basically amounted to a blueprint for Trump’s attempted coup. Increasingly, as the House’s investigation stretches on, Eastman’s fingerprints have appeared all over the events of January 6. As my colleague Tim Murphy noted in October:

As a mob chanting “hang Mike Pence!” raged through the Capitol, one of Trump’s lawyers, John Eastman, sent an email to the vice president’s office blaming Pence for the carnage. According to an email obtained by the paper, Eastman (who was responding to an angry email from a Pence staffer) wrote that “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.” What’s more, the Post reported, Eastman continued to advocate for the electoral college results to be rejected after Congress returned to business following the riot. 

“The evidence supports an inference that President Trump, Plaintiff [Eastman], and several others entered into an agreement to defraud the United States by interfering with the election certification process, disseminating false information about election fraud, and pressuring state officials to alter state election results and federal officials to assist in that effort,” lawyers for the House panel wrote in the filing.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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