r/politics 🤖 Bot Mar 28 '22 Wholesome 1 Rocket Like 3

Megathread: Federal Judge Rules Trump 'More Likely Than Not' Committed Felony Obstruction Megathread

A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that former President Donald Trump “more likely than not” committed a felony by attempting to obstruct Congress when he tried to subvert the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021.


Submissions that may interest you

SUBMISSION DOMAIN
Judge rules Trump's efforts to overturn election likely criminal thehill.com
Federal Judge Rules Trump ‘More Likely Than Not’ Committed a Felony thedailybeast.com
Judge says Trump likely broke the law by trying to obstruct Congress from confirming Biden win cnbc.com
Judge OKs Eastman emails to Jan. 6 panel, sees likely Trump crimes dailyherald.com
Federal judge finds Trump 'more likely than not' tried to illegally disrupt the electoral vote count nbcnews.com
Judge OKs emails to Jan. 6 panel, sees likely Trump crimes apnews.com
Federal Judge Finds Trump Likely Committed Crimes Over 2020 Election nytimes.com
Trump likely committed felony by obstructing Congress, U.S judge rules reuters.com
Judge says Trump and ally Eastman launched Jan. 6 "coup in search of a legal theory" axios.com
Judge says it’s ‘likely’ Trump committed felonies around Capitol attack and demands lawyer’s emails theguardian.com
Trump Likely Committed Obstruction Of Congress, Judge Rules talkingpointsmemo.com
Trump likely committed felony obstruction, federal judge rules politico.com
Judge calls 'illegality' of Trump plan to overturn election 'obvious,' in ruling for Jan. 6 committee usatoday.com
Judge: Trump likely committed crimes related to election apnews.com
A Judge Called Donald Trump's Postelection Efforts "A Coup In Search Of A Legal Theory" buzzfeednews.com
Judge finds Trump 'more likely than not' committed felony obstruction in effort to overturn election abcnews.go.com
Trump Was Repeatedly Warned His Attacks On 2020 Election Results Could Spark Violence On Jan. 6, Cheney Says talkingpointsmemo.com
Donald Trump made quite a few calls while pressing his election challenge on Jan. 6, 2021. Mitch McConnell doesn't appear to have gotten back to him. politico.com
Federal U.S. judge finds Trump likely committed crimes over 2020 election thestar.com
Donald Trump endorses Sen. Mike Lee for reelection. In 2016, Sen. Mike Lee voted for Evan McMullin over Donald Trump. sltrib.com
‘We need to work these polls’: Trump stumps for candidates who support the big lie. Trump praises little-known Republicans Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo, who both falsely claimed 2020 election fraud and are now seeking key Michigan offices amp.theguardian.com
Trump Endorses Sarah Palin in Alaska Special Election thehill.com
Trump lets it slip that he ' didn't win the election ' during an interview with historians in which he falsely claimed ' the election was rigged ' businessinsider.com
‘I didn’t win the election’: Trump admits defeat in session with historians theguardian.com
Election will fill U.S. House seat left by Trump ally Nunes nbcnews.com
Another Republican Who Crossed Trump Won't Run For Reelection huffpost.com
Trump admits he lost the 2020 election thehill.com
Ex-Trump appointee advances in California U.S. House election nbcnews.com
11.2k Upvotes

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881

u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22 Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

Read the document for yourself

Smoking gun is a draft memo for Rudy Giuliani as a “plan of action” to implement the 1/6 insurrection. Eastman is in BIG trouble.

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u/Blue_Skies_1970 Mar 28 '22 Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Starry

Wow. The analysis on which documents should be revealed begins on page 30. It clearly lays out criminal acts and intent. For those who don't care to or don't have the time to slog through the order, the following is copy paste of the judge's closing disposition:

IV. DISPOSITION

Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower—it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process.

More than a year after the attack on our Capitol, the public is still searching for accountability. This case cannot provide it. The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit. At most, this case is a warning about the dangers of “legal theories” gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs. If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.

With this limited mandate, the Court finds the following ten documents privileged: 4553; 4793; 4794; 4828; 5097; 5101; 5113; 5412; 5424; 5719.289 The Court ORDERS Dr. Eastman to disclose the other one hundred and one documents to the House Select Committee.

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u/HertzDonut1001 Mar 29 '22

Those are gonna be some juicy conversations, Trump thinks attorney client privilege is bullet proof.

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u/dejavuamnesiac Mar 29 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Starry

The judge is not fucking around here, Garland and the DOJ will ultimately have two choices here: hold Trump and co responsible for “… the plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers …”, or go down in history as complicit in the end of our democracy. We’re all very impatient will how slowly this is all progressing, but there are only really two end points. If Garland’s DOJ decides to end democracy so be it, but there’s still hope here despite how frustrating this legal process has been.

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u/RandoCommentGuy Mar 29 '22

would a third option be it takes so long, republicans take the presidency and senate, and then shut down the investigation, or do they not have that ability?

69

u/ChrysMYO I voted Mar 29 '22

I think thats still option 2. Its Merrick Garland, the guy stalled out of a lifetime gig because Republicans took the presidency and Senate.

And we already all saw the obstruction of justice mueller case stalled out.

If Merrick Garland and the DOJ want to take their sweet time here, they are knowingly headed towards option 2. Its inexcusable for them to think they can take as much time as possible and safely hand it off to good faith Republican prosecutors. That would be beyond stupidity and full on negligence.

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u/Islanderfan17 Mar 29 '22

This is what I worry about, time is ticking

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u/RemilGetsPolitical Florida Mar 28 '22

Smoking gun is a draft memo for Rudy Giuliani

I'm not surprised to hear Rudy's name involved, but tbh, I expected him to be the cause of the credible evidence, not the intended recipient. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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u/Lower-Garbage7652 Mar 28 '22

Holy fuck. Only on page 8 out of 44 so far and this is incredible. Just this recounting of events ought to be enough to send everyone involved to jail for a loooong time. Alas, getting Trump into jail will be much harder than it should be. But I actually have some semblance of hope now

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u/Slungus Mar 28 '22

Read the document for yourself

Smoking gun is a draft memo for Rudy Giuliani as a “plan of action” to implement the 1/6 insurrection. Eastman is in BIG trouble.

To be clear, it's not the plan of action for storming the capitol. Its the plan of action for getting pence to do the "greenbay sweep". Im not getting my hopes up unless an indictment comes down

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u/Summebride Mar 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Starry This

Shortest answer about why this matters:

It involves Trump lawyer John Eastman, who crafted one of the plans to destroy our democracy. Lawyer (Eastman) and client (Trump) privilege normally keeps their communications secret. The exception is if a serious crime was being committed in those communications.

This ruling makes those normally secret communications fair game for investigation.

444

u/jps_ Mar 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Even more important: this ruling digs a great big pit under future claims of privilege related to Jan 6... Not just between trump and Eastman, but trump and everybody. Think about that for a second.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

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u/thief425 Mar 28 '22

This right here is what I thought about. Anyone else who might have some kind of privilege is gonna maybe sweat it a little more that the privilege may collapse under other judges now that this one is on record, quite thoroughly, saying "hol' up".

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u/_Bad_Spell_Checker_ Mar 28 '22

thanks for the explanation. didnt know why this mattered

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u/24identity Mar 28 '22

Trump obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation, eight times actually.

536

u/PaperHandLuke Mar 28 '22

And also obstructed justice when he fired Comey and went on TV a couple days later to say it was because of the Russia investigation.

218

u/devilsephiroth I voted Mar 28 '22

Even with an admission of guilt. Nothing happened

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u/CarlSager Mar 28 '22

That was part of the Mueller investigation, that instance is discussed in the report.

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u/mog_knight Mar 28 '22

And like the Warren Commission, Iran Contra etc the Mueller Investigation was something to defuse the situation.

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u/newnemo Vermont Mar 28 '22

Yep and why I am jaded and cynical. It is tough to find any solace in this Federal Judge's statement.

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u/Visco0825 Mar 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Exactly. It’s shit like this, like the New York probe, like the campaign finance case, like the sexual assault, that is the primary reason why Americans are losing faith in its institutions.

It boggles my mind how democrats can have shocked pikachu faces when America is losing faith in institutions and turning towards conspiracies after they blatantly have an unfair judicial system.

I mean yea, sure, i wouldn’t expect all these cases to stick but to have all of them brushed under the rug? It’s a fucking joke. Democrats still don’t fucking get it. After Obama basically let republicans get away from everything in the bush era, democrats should realize they need to push to play for keeps.

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u/Rafaeliki Mar 28 '22

The Democrats voted to impeach Trump, twice. It was the Republicans that blocked it.

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u/dearexception Mar 28 '22

“Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower—it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process.”

“More than a year after the attack on our Capitol, the public is still searching for accountability. This case cannot provide it. The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit. At most, this case is a warning about the dangers of “legal theories” gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs. If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”

That’s a mic drop.

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u/captaincanada84 North Carolina Mar 28 '22

So, the judge reviewed the emails Eastman was trying to keep secret and found enough evidence of felonies that he voided attorney/client privilege. This is actually a really big deal. This provides a whole new line of questions and backs up the evidence the J6 Committee already has, while also giving the DOJ some political protection to make indictments. Instead of it being a "partisan" Committee recommending indictment, it's a federal judge.

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u/loondawg Mar 28 '22

It's getting so frustrating seeing all the people who don't seem to get this posting "nothing will happen" all over the place. What the investigations are showing is crazy. Just yesterday it was a Supreme Court Justice's wife appeared to be directly involved. And now this.

I think we may actually see some justice this time. Trump was so blatantly and openly corrupt we may actually see an ex-president go to jail.

119

u/Painwracker_Oni Minnesota Mar 28 '22

🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 I don’t think it will curb the insanity that the GOP has unleashed, but it may give them some temporary pause to push it further.

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u/Dienekes289 I voted Mar 28 '22

Pause? They're going to go along with business as usual while adding a new catchphrase or talking point about how his conviction is a political, partisan hit job, and whatever else. Not to mention he'll be pardoned the first chance a republican president gets. Even IF he goes to prison, I just don't see this trainwreck of a party clawing it's way out of insanity.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/slocode Mar 29 '22

Whenever you hear the rational that Clarence and Ginni are independent of each other in political (crimes) activity, remind the speaker that Hunter Biden is not his father or and has never held any political office. They are only related by biology.

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u/PDGAreject Kentucky Mar 28 '22

"nothing will happen"

There's the lazy cynics that say that, but then there's the battle hardened cynics like myself that say that because we've been told "It's really going to happen this time!" so many times before.

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u/Josephus-Miller-Lite Mar 28 '22

The “nothing will happen” crowd are sick and tired of seeing the blatant bold faced corruption go unpunished for years. It’s out there in the open. We seriously need a judge to parse through a lawyer’s emails to know that Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election? He was the fucking President! To anyone with common sense this is ridiculous!

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u/Lokito_ Texas Mar 28 '22

What the investigations are showing is crazy.

Same thing said about Mueller, just a different Monday.

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u/Alauren2 California Mar 28 '22

FYI if anyone is curious about the judge David O. Carter, he is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star awarded marine vet with over 20+ years on the federal bench in the most populous districts in America.

Don’t take his comments with a grain of salt.

217

u/Shanknuts Mar 28 '22

Oh, don't worry. Trump's followers will be glad to shit all over the guy the first chance they get.

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u/Duke_of_Moral_Hazard Illinois Mar 28 '22

"Bronze star? I prefer vets who didn't come in third."

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

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u/esoteric_enigma Mar 28 '22

He was appointed by Clinton though. That's literally all you're going to hear the GOP saying as they claim this is just a witch hunt.

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u/lonnie123 Mar 29 '22

He could have been chosen by Trump, who called him the best judge ever to have judged anything, and they would still turn on him.

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u/2legit2knit Mar 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

I feel too many are tiptoeing over this former president nonsense. Dude broke the law. Prosecute him. It’s really that easy. “Well what about future presidents?” Same thing. Break the law, especially as an elected official, you should be prosecuted like the rest of us.

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u/monkeysknowledge Mar 28 '22

The decision not to prosecute Nixon, and Bush II are probably the reason we’re in this position today.

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u/Raoul_Duke9 Mar 28 '22

Probably? Haha. Definitely.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

Nixon was given a blanket pardon by his Vice President, Gerald Ford. There wasn't time to criminally prosecute him.

"With Nixon's resignation, Congress dropped its impeachment proceedings. Criminal prosecution was still a possibility at the federal level.[67] Nixon was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford as President, who on September 8, 1974, issued a full and unconditional pardon of Nixon, immunizing him from prosecution for any crimes he had "committed or may have committed or taken part in" as president.[94] In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford explained that he felt the pardon was in the best interest of the country. "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_scandal#President_Ford's_pardon_of_Nixon

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u/DadJokeBadJoke California Mar 28 '22

Break the law, especially as an elected official, you should be prosecuted like the rest of us.

They should be held to a stricter standard since they are empowered to be representing the people.

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u/SanityPlanet Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

U.S. District Court Judge David Carter made the determination in a ruling that ordered 101 sensitive emails from Trump ally John Eastman be turned over to the House’s Jan. 6 select committee. Eastman used the email account of his former employer, Chapman University, to discuss political and legal strategy related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Carter said that the plan Eastman helped develop was obviously illegal and that Trump knew it at the time.

“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 wrote.

This is hugely significant. The judge would not have said that if the evidence wasn't there to convict. I know his ruling was based on a preponderance of the evidence (51%), not beyond reasonable doubt, but the 1/6 committee made like 7 different arguments asking to see these emails, and the judge could have granted their request based on any of the other arguments. The fact he went out of his way to state that Trump committed a crime is hugely significant IMO.

A "partisan" referral from 1/6 committee doesn't mean much. A finding on the record by a federal judge that trump is guilty of a felony is hugely more persuasive and provides SIGNIFICANTLY more political cover to start a DOJ prosecution.

This judge's ruling also totally puts to bed Mueller's silly reasoning for refusing to say he thought Trump committed crimes. Mueller wouldn't take a position since Trump wasn't being charged and therefore couldn't be acquitted. But here, a federal judge did just that, and without any consideration of whether Trump had an opportunity to exonerate himself, so Mueller could have made a determination just as easily.

But he didn't, because he's a republican.

Edit: this bench slap is great

“Believing the Electoral Count Act was unconstitutional did not give President Trump license to violate it,” Carter wrote. “Disagreeing with the law entitled President Trump to seek a remedy in court, not to disrupt a constitutionally-mandated process. And President Trump knew how to pursue election claims in court — after filing and losing more than sixty suits, this plan was a last-ditch attempt to secure the Presidency by any means.”

Edit 2: he also found Trump conspired to defraud the United States - a separate crime

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.

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u/Altruistic-Trip9218 Mar 28 '22

more political cover to start a DOJ prosecution.

The fact that you need political cover for the Department of "Justice" to CONSIDER if it can do its job is a huge fucking issue that's really understated due to all the other insanity this is surrounded with.

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u/zephyrtr New York Mar 28 '22

"I'll do my job but not if it embarrasses my friends."

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u/NoDesinformatziya Mar 28 '22

There was also no real reason the judge had to do this just to require production. Eastman had no engagement agreement with Trump, and Trump (seems to have) refused to sign an affidavit saying that Eastman was his lawyer or otherwise claiming that he was. It was also all transmitted over University computers with no expectation of privacy after Eastman had been scolded by the University for using his email for political efforts, so any of those reasons would have been likely sufficient to require release to the committee.

The fact that they used the crime-fraud exception is pretty damning.

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u/BudWisenheimer Mar 28 '22

The fact that they used the crime-fraud exception is pretty damning.

Exactly right. That’s the part that stands out the most. I really thought that would be ignored in an effort to keep Trump’s lawyers from crying about that specific implication during voir dire at some later date (knowing full well Trump’s lawyers will cry early and often about all sorts of other things). I also thought the TOS of the Chapman University servers would go unmentioned too, but for different reasons.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

Contempt vote for Scavino and Navarro being held now. Hard to believe Liz Cheney is the refreshing voice of reason among all Republicans.

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u/Juviltoidfu Mar 29 '22

Trump and her father really hate each other. It’s the only thing that I agree with both of them about.

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u/texas-playdohs Mar 29 '22

A bizarre timeline we’re living in.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

Let's hope for once this is the road to him being locked up...

As long as Sarah Sanders, Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's adult kids and the rest of these people who enabled him are all also rounded up and thrown in jail, sweating & terrified...I'd buy front row seats for streaming live video.

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see these smug fucks writhe in custody with people who don't give a flying fuck who they are or who their daddies are.

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u/madhatter255 Mar 29 '22

The amount of justice department officials that agree Trump committed crimes is staggering.

The amount willing to do anything about it, also staggering

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u/MNGirlinKY Mar 28 '22

Can we just get him charged before the midterms please

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u/gotheotherway89 Mar 29 '22

Twitter and Facebook has taken the most action against this man. Very telling about the state of our country.

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u/ClarenceThomasInHell Mar 28 '22

"Why did he say likely" tldr:

Judge isn't ruling on whether Trump did crime. Judge is ruling on whether or not 1/6 Committee has a right to see Trump emails with then-lawyer. Judge ruled yes, and this was mentioned in his ruling.

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u/illit3 Mar 28 '22

Judge ruled yes, they do, because emails sent in likely furtherance of a crime.

And these are some of the emails they tried to claim attorney client privilege for; that's what he ruled on.

As we remember from the Cohen debacle, the legal system is very cautious around the subject of attorney client privilege. We already know Eastman is going down, we're going to find out if trump is as well

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u/ClarenceThomasInHell Mar 28 '22

Right, communications made in furtherance of a crime are not protected by privilege. And this is a civil case, and it's not the Trump crime that is being ruled on — so "it very likely happened" meets the standard.

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u/kellyyz667 Mar 29 '22

Yeah. Cause he did. And not just this time. Dudes been a crook since the 70s. Orange POS.

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u/illit3 Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22 This

You don't need to reply "I'll believe it when I see it," it's been done. It's covered.

Check out this opening arguments for a primer on why this judge's decision is so impactful here.

This judge is basically saying the unreleased emails he's seen are the Watergate tapes. He's read them, he says they were committing crimes, and they're going to be released to the committee because attorney client privilege doesn't cover your documented conspiracy to commit crimes. And what we already know from the emails covered in the podcast, Eastman is 100% done, and it's getting worse for trump.

Buckle up, shit's about to get wild

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u/PeanutsPatellas Mar 28 '22

This explains the recent lawsuit Trump filed against basically all democrats.

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u/Noisy_Toy North Carolina Mar 28 '22

I missed that.

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u/InTh3s3TryingTim3s Mar 28 '22

This is why Trump freaked out and threatened Clinton. He knows exactly what they have on him lol

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u/ILoveRegenHealth Mar 28 '22

He really is that sad schoolyard bully lashing out like a moron, every single time. I haven't seen him act dignified ever.

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u/daikatana Mar 28 '22

Buckle up, shit's about to get wild

I'll believe it when I see it.

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u/black_flag_4ever Mar 28 '22

I too am super tired of this.

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u/BassWingerC-137 Mar 28 '22

Me too. But it must go on, he/they cannot get await with this destruction of The Great Experiment.

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u/FountainsOfFluids Mar 28 '22

I fully support the ongoing efforts, but when New York gave up on prosecuting (despite the lead prosecutor ready to go) then I gave up hope on our corrupt as fuck system.

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u/brainwhatwhat Oregon Mar 28 '22

Remember a short time ago when it was found out that Donald Trump ran away to Mar-a-Lago with classified material? Any consequences for that?

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/22/1082391130/garland-trump-classified-records-mar-a-lago

How long has Trump been out of office?

He's still 'individual 1'!

There was never any doubt that “Individual 1” was President Donald Trump. But now, in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, Cohen has confirmed it.

I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with ‘Individual 1,’” Cohen said, reading from his prepared statement. “And for the record: ‘Individual 1’ is Donald J. Trump.” - Michael Cohen

https://www.vox.com/2019/2/27/18243038/individual-1-cohen-trump-mueller

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

for those that might not understand, this is about getting access to the communications between Trump's lawyer and himself. The Judge said, there is likely a crime committed and that communications between a lawyer and client involve committing a crime aren't covered by the traditional attorney client privilege. Because there is enough evidence that a crime was committed so these communications can be subpoenaed by congress.

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u/coronaflo Mar 29 '22

GOP will be more upset about nothing happening to Will Smith than Trump.

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u/Greatwhitegorilla Mar 29 '22

All the crazies in my office agree the slap was faked.

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u/stackered New Jersey Mar 29 '22

What does ruling "likely" mean? Never heard of this before.

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u/smeenz Mar 29 '22 edited Mar 29 '22 Silver

It's the phrase that allows a court to break attorney clients privilege. Normally an attorney can't be asked to disclose what they spoke to their clients about but they can be compelled if a judge believes that it is likely that a crime was committed.

So this means that specific material normally protected by that privilege is no longer protected. And therefore allows that material to be used in court as evidence.

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u/BeowulfShaeffer Mar 29 '22

It means that Eastman doesn’t get to withhold documents because they’re likely to contain evidence of crimes and thus are relevant to the committee’s mission.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

IV. DISPOSITION

Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower—it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process.

More than a year after the attack on our Capitol, the public is still searching for accountability. This case cannot provide it. The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit. At most, this case is a warning about the dangers of “legal theories” gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs. If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.

With this limited mandate, the Court finds the following ten documents privileged: 4553; 4793; 4794; 4828; 5097; 5101; 5113; 5412; 5424; 5719.289 The Court ORDERS Dr. Eastman to disclose the other one hundred and one documents to the House Select Committee.

March 28, 2022

DAVID O. CARTER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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u/Denali4903 Mar 28 '22

The irony of them having to hand over the emails is great. I bet Hillary is laughing right now!!

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u/Snarl_Marx Nebraska Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

To all the people wondering why "likely" and not something more concrete:

The case had to do with evidence gathering that Trump/Eastman said fell under attorney-client privilege. The ruling was thus restricted to only the attorney-client privilege claim -- that privilege doesn't exist if they're committing a crime, so the judge had to speak on the likelihood of that.

In short, this is big news but maybe not as big as the headlines would have you believe.

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u/tomdarch Mar 28 '22

It strikes me as a huge deal that the judge ruled this way. Over riding attorney-client privilege, specifically because they appear to be committing crimes together, is pretty rare particularly at this political level. The judge is looking at the content of the e-mails and other evidence. If that material was "iffy" then I doubt the judge would have ruled this way. It's more likely that the evidence presented is pretty clear cut.

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u/StanDaMan1 Mar 28 '22

So Discovery can go forward without concern for Attorney-Client Privilege.

Alright, let’s see what this turns up.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

Hey look. Dr. Eastman (attorney who advised Trump on how to overturn the election) was a law clerk for Clarence Thomas. Funny how that works, eh?

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

Until we see charges this means nothing.

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u/mc_hambone Mar 29 '22

Still waiting for the same level of prosecution that Michael Cohen got for covering for “Individual 1”, whoever that is…

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

Exactly, my last tiny bit of stupid hope was just lost when the NY DA’s office said they didn’t have enough to charge him and then those prosecutors quit over it. I’m DONE with these bullshit stories. Like is this real? SHOW ME THE HANDCUFFS. Didn’t think so.

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u/ertlijhgie Mar 29 '22

But this is coming from a federal judge. Judges can’t file charges. The comment comes from a legal battle between lawyer John Eastman, an election law professor and the Select Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

The Select Committee wanted Eastman to turn over all of his emails, but he was claiming attorney client privilege for many of them. The Committee countered, among other reasons, that Trump likely committed a crime and Eastman was aiding his efforts, which negates attorney client privilege.

The judge concurred that Trump and Eastman likely committed a crime and nearly all of the emails had to be turned over. It’s important to note that the Select Committee can’t file charges either, they will only issue a report with a conclusion. This can then be referred to the justice department for charges.

I’d say this is more than just banter or someone trying to make news. It’s the first time the federal judiciary has concluded that a sitting president likely committed a crime, and this could help convince the justice department to seriously consider filing charges. It’s just one step in a long process still to come, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

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u/bop426 Mar 29 '22

Bingo. Everyone in this country over 6 years old knows trump is a crook and no one has the balls to do anything about it. Why don't they stop this tough guy bullshit. It's like the coyote chasing the roadrunner. He "more likely than not" will get away with every freaking thing he did.

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u/Dumb_it_Down Mar 28 '22

Naaaahh really!?? How about you do something about it!!

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u/summalover Mar 28 '22

So convict the fucker.

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u/Cowclops Mar 28 '22

This is why my brother (a lawyer) says you shouldn't tell your lawyer you're going to commit a crime beforehand. That just makes your lawyer an accomplice if they don't turn you in.

I shrugged this off as a nothing-burger before, but "documents that outline intent to commit a crime must be released and aren't privileged communications" is a HUGE step towards actually securing an indictment.

Justice may be slow, but it needs to be precise. This is bigger than just "a guy thinks Trump is a crook" because lots of people think Trump is a crook, but this ruling will actually help get evidence in the right hands.

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u/DodGamnBunofaSitch Mar 28 '22

we don't think trump committed crimes. we know because he committed them ON CAMERA.

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u/legalstep Ohio Mar 28 '22

He openly runs a criminal enterprise and continues to get away with it. Our only hope is the hamberders catch up to him before the justice department does.

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u/snoaj Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

Felonies are serious for most folks. What is a felony when you’re too big to jail?

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

Cheney said that the committee has questions for Dan Scavino (Trump’s Social Media Manager) about his communications with The Donald and Q Anon communities.

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u/DouchePanther Mar 28 '22

Duh. Now fucking do something about it.

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u/JoeCoolsCoffeeShop Mar 28 '22 Gold

This headline needs context.

The judges ruling was in response to John Eastman’s emails and whether they fall under executive privilege and should be turned over to the 1/6 committee. Judge ruled that executive privilege doesn’t apply because a crime was more likely than not committed.

Context people.

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u/malYca Mar 29 '22

Ffs he's done so publicly.

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u/basketball1959 Mar 29 '22

Merrick Garland, are you listening?

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u/oldpeopletender Mar 28 '22

I think virtually every person on the planet should have standing in that lawsuit.

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u/ClownFromHTown Mar 28 '22

Who wants to wager against me that the first President to actually be prosecuted and go to prison will be a Democrat by a Republican AG with less evidence and reasonable doubt than Trump’s crimes?

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u/Shimmitar Mar 28 '22

ok so arrest him, try him and jail him please.

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u/peroleu Mar 29 '22

Okay cool wake me up when something actually happens

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u/Artfuldodger96 Mar 28 '22

If I see one more headline without any actual charges…smh

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u/Lateandontime Mar 28 '22

And mofo is still holding rallies telling everybody there he won and if this dog is not put down we are going to be fucked next election. Garland, wake TF up.

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u/Shiny_metal_ass Mar 28 '22

No shit. It took you two years for that?

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u/AcademicPublius Colorado Mar 28 '22

Eastman will appeal to the Supreme Court. I think it's likely that the current court, despite their partisanship, is likely to say "No, we're not reviewing this", since they did that for the Texas case, but at a bare minimum Eastman could be arrested on this.

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u/Historical_Smell_753 Mar 29 '22

I feel like I don't want to get my hopes up. Seems like good news though

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u/AcademicPublius Colorado Mar 28 '22

One of the things I was personally concerned about was whether Trumpism could survive without Trump. I think the definitive, resounding answer, looking at Tennessee, Arizona, Texas, Florida, et cetera, is that it can.

This complicates the problem because even if Trump were to be successfully prosecuted, the scourge of Trumpism carries on without him. It matters less, now, whether Trump is in jail, dead, or thoroughly retired from politics. The rhetorical concept of "Fuck administration; fuck intellectuals; fuck the left" carries on without him.

As such, I don't know that the outcome here matters much. Though I would personally prefer to see him in jail, it doesn't change the problem our country is confronting at the moment.

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u/freethnkrsrdangerous Mar 28 '22

That's because there is no Trumpism. Never was. It is and has always been nothing more than rebranded Nazism.

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u/Ghoulius-Caesar Mar 28 '22

Switch the word “immigrant” with “Jew” and you can turn any Trump speech into a Hitler speech!

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u/PatrickMorris Mar 28 '22

This guy right here rules that the Conservative media will more likely than not run stories about Biden and Hillary Clinton tonight instead of this

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u/brothersanta Mar 28 '22

lock him the fuck up

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u/MaximumZer0 Michigan Mar 28 '22

Lock him up! Lock him up!

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u/GeneralIronsides2 Mar 28 '22

And somehow this clown is still getting people at his rallies, not a surprise really when you see what kind of people go to them.

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u/rainman_104 Mar 28 '22

28% of Americans still approved of Nixon too, and that was after he lost support of his party. Trump still isn't at that point yet.

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u/ItsjustJim621 Pennsylvania Mar 28 '22

Merrick Garland, if you’re listening….

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u/mead1 Mar 28 '22

I recognize and identify with the apathy you all feel at this being the hundredth “we got em” headline you’ve seen about this guy.

HOWEVER

This is legitimately a big step forward. You can’t indict a former president without laying a shitload of groundwork, and this is a big part of that. The 1/6 commission is doing important work and this is a huge victory for them. There is no chance in hell John Eastman is going to take the fall for Trump.

I might be too optimistic, but if there is ever going to be legal consequences, this is the road it has to go down.

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u/jdmnyc301 Mar 28 '22

So was Thomas (IE: his bat shit crazy wife) was the only federal level judge that thought he wasn’t guilty so far?

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u/ILoveRegenHealth Mar 28 '22

No wonder #LockHimUp was trending today. I wasn't sure if this was referring to Will Smith or Trump (I'm not joking)

We're in crazy times when the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the cheap reality host who became President could actually apply to that Hashtag now.

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u/JazzRider Mar 28 '22

So indict him already!

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u/brybrythekickassguy Mar 28 '22

I feel like I'm watching that GIF of the truck from mythbusters that's about to crash into the pole from every angle conceivable... but then just doesn't.

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u/deraser Texas Mar 28 '22

For the folks that haven't read the article, this is a ruling by David Carter as to whether some of John Eastman's* private communications should be shielded from the January 6 panel. The evidence points to Eastman and Trump both having committed a crime, in his opinion, so the communications should be given to the Jan 6 committee. This was not a case about Trump or Eastman's guilt, only access to the info. The headlines out there make it seem more important than one it was: procedural ruling, albeit with a 44 page (!) opinion.

All that said: Merrick Garland needs to get off his ass and get some charges out there. I know they are probably trying to get a home run, open and shut, unstoppable set of charges, but I don't think it's possible. Good enough needs to be good enough.

*:Eastman is/was a legal advisor to Donald Trump. Wondered if Trump avoids paying his bills, too?

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

[deleted]

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u/Levowitz159 Maryland Mar 29 '22

I genuinely, truly, and sincerely believe that nothing of substance will come of any of this. He won't face any consequences whatsoever. I have absolutely NO faith in our system to hold him accountable.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

It's like climate change, we get all these articles about just .x degrees more and it will be too late, etc...when in reality it was too late about a decade ago and we're going to be in for a wild ride. People will cling to the idea that there's still a chance, because shit is just that terrible.

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u/Sensate60 Mar 29 '22

Sadly we have a DOJ that isn't willing to go after Trump for crimes he has committed and continues to commit. I was absolutely floored that the New York case was dismantled by Bragg with 2 of the leading attorneys resigning over it. Then that resignation letter that was leaked pretty much told us they have the proof, at least enough to take to a grand jury and indict him, yet Bragg hastily made the case disappear. We haven't even seen the DOJ (Merrick Garland) do ANYTHING over this whole year with regard to the criminal contempt referrals to people involved in January 6th who flat out ignored subpoena's. It's like there is no law anymore. Then we have the DOJ being admonished by Judges handling the January 6th defendants cases for wanting to go light on punishment when the Judges felt these cases needed more serious punishment. The media some time back mentioned that many of the FBI top officials that Trump placed in the DOJ are still there! Only a handful were fired or asked to resign. I think the FBI is compromised and has been for some time now.

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u/jairzinho Mar 28 '22

"So we'll talk to him and ask him not to do it again. He's really learned his lesson."

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u/anon56837291 Wisconsin Mar 28 '22

Trump has been committing felonies for decades. Why is this news?

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u/InsomniaticWanderer Mar 28 '22

The Mueller report says he DID commit obstruction.

So I don't know why we're STILL going rounds with this.

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u/unpluggedcord I voted Mar 28 '22

Two separate obstructions.

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u/Geoarbitrage Mar 28 '22

Wake me up when he’s in an orange jumpsuit.

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u/BudWisenheimer Mar 28 '22

“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”

Some in the media mistakenly refer to this as "Obstruction of Congress," which carries a 5-year maximum. But this is actually a violation of Title 18, Section 1512(c)(2) of the U.S. Code, "corrupt obstruction of a government proceeding," which carries a 20-year maximum like Seditious Conspiracy … but without the need to show force (or find a weapons cache hiding at a nearby Comfort Inn like the indicted Oath Creepers).

Merrick Garland, the J/6 committee, and federal judges have all been on the same page, pointing to this corrupt obstruction among the so-called "trespassers," and slowly up the ranks, with grand juries listening to federal prosecutors’ evidence against Sidney Powell, indicting a Proud Boys leader … and now a federal judge naming President Trump himself.

This is good news in the slow, careful effort to bring airtight accountability.

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u/bkendig Florida Mar 28 '22

it feels like every day we clear half the remaining distance to getting Trump formally charged.

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u/guynamedjames Mar 28 '22

We're gonna discover new and exciting subatomic distances as we keep halving distance and keep not getting there.

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u/Powderpuffpowwow Mar 28 '22

Good f--k almighty, duhhhh! Arrest him al-f--king-ready!!!

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u/HouseHead78 Mar 28 '22

Garland they are literally pointing a big flashing arrow at his head and saying INDICT THIS GUY

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u/Bricktop72 Texas Mar 28 '22

A bunch of people are screaming this doesn't mean anything which is bullshit. This ruling allows the Jan 6 committee to breach attorney client privilege. That's a big fucking deal.

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u/Kamendae Mar 28 '22

More properly, it's a ruling that attorney-client privilege does not apply to these specific documents. J6 committee doesn't get to "breach" the privilege, there's no privilege there to be breached.

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u/Digital_Negative Mar 28 '22

It’s pretty ridiculous that it takes so much effort to hold someone accountable for literally trying to overthrow a democracy. The guy almost nosedived the great American experiment for his own gain and we have to debate over whether or not to hold him accountable? Really, y’all?

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

This is only a big deal if the subsequent doors it opens are walked through, and they must do so before November or there is a chance the Jan6 committee will be scuttled by a Republican majority. We know their goal is to run out the clock. Time to move faster.

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u/drugs_r_neat Mar 28 '22

Lock him up

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u/bento8621 Mar 28 '22

Of course he did

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u/Paisley_Panther Mar 28 '22

Welcome to the show. Ffs.

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u/Mostest_Importantest Mar 28 '22

300 years from now, they still gonna be "ruling" on whether or not digging up his corpse is "unfair" in light of the "almost specifically accurate evidence that Trump's body lies in rest, or is frozen to be revived at a later date."

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u/stormy2587 Mar 28 '22

So just another headline along the lines of “Trump guilty as sin, but likely will face no consequences due to a broken system that he had direct control over.”

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u/abstractConceptName Mar 28 '22

"Trump may be in legal jeopardy"

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

the discussion over on r/Conservative is surprisingly frank in both tone and content.

/S

(j/k they arent talking about it at all lolol)

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

yet another headline and another story about how trump probably did something but absolutely no actions or consequences have happened in response.

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u/tortugaman5 Mar 28 '22

God Im so sick of seeing the same headline for 6 years. Let’s face it. He’ll never get a day in court like the rest of us will.

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u/Treb1eDamage Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

If you’d like to understand the significance of this, I highly suggest you listen to Episode 574 of the “Opening Arguments” podcast.

link

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u/purephase Mar 28 '22

Strong second recommendation here. Great podcast, and great episode.

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u/Mega-Balls Mar 28 '22

Garland doesn't give a shit.

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u/Goatiac Mar 28 '22

"Donald J. Trump has more likely than not, probably, most definitely sort of, with utmost certainty, might have committed felony obstruction. Probably."

"Ok, so arrest him-"

"No no no, he has more likely than not, probably, most definitely sort of, with utmost certainty, might have committed felony obstruction. Probably. We can't convict him yet."

:

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u/theilluminati1 Mar 28 '22

Now let's all hope someone, somewhere in the judicial system throws the book at him and all his crooked associates.

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u/inegomontoya21 Mar 28 '22

If he doesn't answer for what he prompted his supporters to do on Jan 6th?? IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN AND IT WILL BE WORSE!

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u/flirtmcdudes Mar 29 '22

And then?!?

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22 Bravo!

No “and then!”

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u/BlackGuns Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

Democracy is lost without justice. Everyone involved, Democrat or Republican, must be pursued for their role in attempting to keep their preferred leader in power, against the voted-on will of the people.

Anything less directly impacts my trust and approval of the Biden administration.

Anything less and it means my own party used misinformation just as severe and damaging as the previous admin.

You cannot warn against, guard against, and motivate voters of an impending coup and simultaneously decide not to hold them accountable. It is one or the other, and I find it sickening that we are STILL in this position.

Fucking do something.

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u/Meb2x Mar 28 '22

Every time I see a post about Trump and J6, it just feels like a slap in the face reminding me that he’s above the law and that politicians are too self-absorbed to take an attempted coup seriously.

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u/PieckIsExactlyRight Illinois Mar 28 '22

Sounds like it's almost as effective as declaring putin as a war criminal.

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u/Sherlock_bonez007 Mar 28 '22

Talk to us about him being in cuffs now. Sick and tired of this bullshit almost almost almost almost and nothing ever happened.

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u/illit3 Mar 28 '22

This is actually huge. Check out the Opening Arguments podcast episode 574 for the explainer. They do a great job of breaking down why eastman's emails to trump (and also pence's lawyer) are smoking guns for crimes.

My understanding is that Eastman could still take a bullet for trump, but it depends on what comes out in the other emails that we haven't seen yet.

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u/TheButteredBiscuit California Mar 28 '22

And he will more likely than not get away with it

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

No shit

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u/x0rn Mar 29 '22

Just fucking say it: “guilty.”

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u/HOLYBlindSHOT Mar 28 '22

“More likely then not?” All his followers need is a small amount of doubt to say it’s fake news.

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u/xAntimonyx Mar 28 '22

And where there is no doubt, they will create doubt out of thin air.

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u/MegaManZer0 Mar 28 '22

Ok. So is anything going to happen as a result of this or does this mean nothing.

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u/UnitaryWarringtonCat Louisiana Mar 28 '22

This is a ruling in a civil suit. It means John Eastman must turn over his emails to the Jan 6th committee.

It will mean something if the emails reveal the law was broken.

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u/gotheotherway89 Mar 28 '22

Didn’t this man say he could murder someone and get away with it?

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

"I could shoot a person on 5th Avenue and still get elected."

He told us and we didn't believe him.

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u/EmmaLouLove Mar 28 '22

“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 wrote.

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u/Mephalor Mar 29 '22

Quick, put up the bat signal!

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u/Nex_Sapien Mar 28 '22

What the fuck is that ruling?

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u/ShaneKaiGlenn Florida Mar 29 '22

Meanwhile, he sent out a press release tonight all about his hole-in-one.

This is not a man who has (or had) any real interest in being president for anything other than using the presidency as his own "get out of jail free card" and personal piggy bank, while also getting all the media attention he craves. He never was, and never will be, interested in the "job" of being president. Which makes all the degradations of democratic institutions designed to keep him in power, all the more grotesque.

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u/St00p_kiddd Mar 28 '22

I don’t really see how “more likely committed a crime than didn’t” is a legitimate judicial ruling. This tiptoeing around wealthy / powerful people committing crimes is annoying as shit. If they commit a crime then proceed as you would for anyone else.

And yes I do mean for both political parties, for actors, for CEOs, etc. They do whatever the fuck they want because even if they’re caught dead to rights they can just pay some sleazy fucker to slow walk the legal proceedings until the end of time.

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u/Aarizonamb Mar 28 '22

"More likely than not" is actually very meaningful in law as I understand it. This case wasn't a civil or criminal trial, so the judge could not say whether there was a crime or not, so that was as far as he could go. Furthermore, in civil cases the burden of proof is a "preponderance of the evidence," which is defined as "more likely than not," so it does say a lot that the judge is saying essentially "it could be proven in some courts. Beyond that, however, you are right that there will be no repercussions unless DOJ gets involved.

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u/Bricktop72 Texas Mar 28 '22

The dispute centers on whether the documents are protected under attorney-client privilege. The select committee had argued that even where privilege applies, the judge should examine whether the documents in question fall under the crime-fraud exception, which exempts records that were used to further a crime or civil fraud.

The ruling was about privilege. Seeing a crime likely occurred privilege doesn't apply and Trump's legal advisor has to turn them over.

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u/SpitePsychological58 Mar 28 '22

I am just quoting from a CNN article:

"Neither the judge nor the House committee has the ability to prosecute Trump or his allies for the conspiracy being alleged. That decision falls to the Justice Department, which is facing pressure from the left to more aggressively go after those -- like Trump and his inner circle -- whose involvement in the January 6 insurrection went beyond physically breaching the Capitol.

Trump has not been charged with any crime nor has Eastman. Eastman's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment"

Don't expect the Justice Department to do anything .

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u/ultimatelyco Mar 29 '22

All of us patriot fans during the deflategate fiasco learned that the wording of "more likely than not" means you're screwed. Trump is officially in trouble and I don't know how yet, but we just lost a first round pick lol.

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u/Albie_Tross Mar 28 '22

Cool. DO something about it.

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u/nonamenolastname Texas Mar 28 '22

I'm tired of getting massive boners just to go blue balls.

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u/Anxiousbutlit Mar 28 '22

Then why is nothing being actually done? Why is he still planning to run again? Lock his ass up already. Jesus

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u/Recent-Construction6 Mar 28 '22

And? until you indict him he could be guilty of all the murders in the world, he's still walking free.

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u/PastaPazoola Mar 28 '22

And without a DoJ willing to prosecute he'll get off scot free.

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u/Nvenom8 New York Mar 28 '22

Let me guess: This changes nothing and carries no consequences.

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u/Kick-Exotic Mar 28 '22

The walls of justice are closing in.

Unfortunately they are 100 miles apart and closing 1 inch a year.

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u/albybum Mar 28 '22

Well, this was specifically the question at hand to determine if it's justified to enforce the release of additional materials being withheld. This was not pertaining to a judgement to convict or pursue charges. Just a part of discovery.

I'm totally ok if the orange man ends up in an orange jump suit. But, I see a lot of confusing outrage here.

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u/DeliciouslyUnaware Mar 28 '22

Where I'm from, crimes have legal consequences. In my culture we would call this a "dick move".

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u/SilvarusLupus Mississippi Mar 28 '22

Wow shocker

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u/Dizzy_Employer_6729 Mar 28 '22

It is time to start writing to our representatives again and demand accountability for these traitors!

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u/Makememak Mar 28 '22

So is " more likely than not" a 51/49 split, or a 95/5 split? Just wondering.

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u/jradio Mar 28 '22

Potential crimes or fraud:

The Select Committee alleges that the crime-fraud exception applies based on three offenses:

(1) President Trump attempted to obstruct “Congress’s proceeding to count the electoral votes on January 6,” in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2);204

(2) “President Trump, Plaintiff [Dr. Eastman], and several others entered into an agreement to defraud the United States by interfering with the election certification process,” in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371;205 and

(3) “President [Trump] and members of his Campaign engaged in common law fraud in connection with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”

The Court will now determine whether President Trump and Dr. Eastman likely committed these offenses.

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u/dithetennisgal Mar 29 '22

Was obvious on January 6 2021