Jan. 6 committee claims former President Donald Trump engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’

WASHINGTON – A parliamentary committee investigating the US Capitol insurgency said Wednesday night that its evidence showed that former President Donald Trump and his associates were involved in a “criminal conspiracy” to prevent Congress from believing results of the presidential election, spread false information about the result and pressured state officials to overturn it.

The commission made the allegations in a statement in response to a tip-off from Trump adviser John Eastman. Eastman, a lawyer who advised Trump as he tried to overthrow the election, is trying to hide documents from the commission as it investigates the January 6, 2021 uprising. with ongoing or future crimes.

“The Selection Committee also has a good basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign were involved in a criminal conspiracy to deceive the United States,” the commission wrote in a statement to the U.S. District Court in its Central District. California. .

The 221-page submission marks the commission’s most formal attempt to link the former president to a federal crime, although the actual introduction of the dossier is unclear, as lawmakers do not have the power to prosecute on their own and can only refer at the Ministry of Justice. The ministry investigated last year’s uprising, but gave no indication that it was considering seeking charges against Trump.

“Evidence supports the conclusion that President Trump and members of his campaign knew that he had not won enough legitimate ballots to be declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election at the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, but the President nevertheless tried to “use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor,” the statement said.

The document filed Wednesday was an attempt by the commission to refute Eastman’s allegations of client privilege in order to withhold files from congressional investigators.

“The Select Committee is not conducting a criminal investigation,” said Mississippi MP Benny Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the committee. “But, as the judge noted in a previous hearing, allegations of Dr. Eastman’s privileges raise the question of whether the exclusion of criminal fraud from the lawyer’s privilege applies in this case.”

The request for comment from Eastman’s lawyer was not returned immediately.

The testimony also cites excerpts from the commission’s interviews with several top Trump aides and members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s team, including Chief of Staff Marc Short and General Counsel Greg Jacob.

The commission said it had found evidence that Trump was trying to block a formal process – in this case, certifying the election results – by trying to force Pence to delay the process so that there would be extra time to “manipulate” the results.

In an email exchange between Eastman and Jacob on January 6, 2021, Eastman pressured Pence to intervene in his ritual role to oversee the certification of ballots.

Jacob responds: “I respect your heart here. I share your concerns about what the Democrats will do once they come to power. I want the electoral integrity to be rectified. “I respectfully conclude that as a legal framework, it is a results-oriented position that you would never support if the opposition were to attempt it, and in fact entirely constructed.”

He added, “And thanks to your bulls– we are now under siege.”

In other minutes released as part of the deposition, former Senior Justice Department official Richard Donoyu described the attempt to convince Trump that the allegations of electoral fraud were purely fabricated. “I told the President himself that several times, in many conversations, that these allegations of ballots being smuggled into a suitcase and passed through the machines many times, it was not true, that we had looked at it, we looked at the video. “We interviewed the witnesses and it was not true.”

At one point, Donoghue said, he had to reassure Trump that the Justice Department had investigated a report that someone was transporting a tractor full of ballots from New York to Pennsylvania. The department found no evidence to support the allegations, Donoghue said.

The transfers leaked colorful details at a controversial meeting on January 3, 2021, during which Trump considered replacing Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with an aide who promised to end the president’s allegations of electoral fraud.

This assistant, Jeffrey Clark, was the department’s top environmental lawyer for a period of time, which led to some ridicule from colleagues at the meeting when it was revealed that Clark was not a criminal prosecutor.

“And he kind of responded by saying, ‘Well, I’ve done a lot of complicated lawsuits and civil lawsuits, environmental disputes and things like that,'” Donoghue said. “And I said, ‘Exactly. You are an environmental lawyer. What do you say to return to your office and we will call you when there is an oil spill “”.

The testimony was the most comprehensive preview of the commission’s findings, which investigate the violent uprising of Trump supporters in an effort to ensure that something similar does not happen again. Although the commission can not prosecute, members say they want the public to have a detailed description of the attack, in which hundreds of people brutally beat police, pushed windows and doors and cut off certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

So far, lawmakers and researchers have interviewed hundreds of people, including Trump’s family members and chief of staff, as well as his allies in the seven states where the former president tried and failed to prove he won. The committee also sought information from members of Congress and sought files and testimonials from leading social media platforms believed to have played a role in disseminating campaign misinformation.

The committee is expected to publish its findings in full in an extensive report or series of reports later in the year, in the run-up to the by-elections. The committee also plans hearing days or weeks beginning in April with some of the witnesses testifying.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Jan. 6 committee claims former President Donald Trump engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’ Source link Jan. 6 committee claims former President Donald Trump engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’

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