On Wednesday, a California judge ruled that former President Donald Trump knew the data used to claim election fraud in Georgia was “inaccurate,” but signed a sworn statement confirming the legitimacy of the figures.
U.S. District Judge David Carter issued an 18-page ruling in response to a bid by Trump’s former lawyer, John Eastman, to block the release of his emails to the January 6 committee.
Eastman argued that the emails are protected under attorney-client privilege and therefore should not be handed over. Carter largely agreed, but found eight emails in particular that he considered relevant and that should be handed over due to the fact that the emails were in furtherance of a crime, one of the few times attorney-client privilege can be overridden.
Carter wrote that Eastman warned Trump the data he was using in December 2020 to claim the vote was stolen from him was not accurate. However, Trump ignored Eastman’s advice and then lied to authorities by declaring that voter fraud had occurred on a massive scale.
“On December 4, 2020, President Trump and his attorneys alleged in a Georgia state court action that Fulton County improperly counted a number of votes including 10,315 deceased people, 2,560 felons, and 2,423 unregistered voters,” Carter wrote. “President Trump and his attorneys then decided to contest the state court proceeding in federal court, and discussed incorporating by reference the voter fraud numbers alleged in the state petition.”
The document continued, “On December 30, 2020, Dr. Eastman relayed ‘concerns’ from President Trump’s team ‘about including specific numbers in the paragraph dealing with felons, deceased, moved, etc.’ The attorneys continued to discuss the President’s resistance to signing ‘when specific numbers were included.’”
“As Dr. Eastman explained the next day: ‘Although the President signed a verification for [the state court filing] back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate. For him to sign a new verification with that knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate.’ President Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed the complaint with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise changing them,” Carter wrote.
Carter said Wednesday that Trump had “signed a verification swearing under oath that the inaccurate fraud numbers were ‘true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct’ to the best of his knowledge and belief. The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.”
“The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States,” Carter continued.
Representatives for Trump and Eastman are yet to comment on the order.
Lawyers online, meanwhile, have suggested that Carter’s assessment means the former president now faces severe legal trouble and that the emails are bad news for him.
“Odds of Donald Trump ending up in a Fulton County courtroom just went up a little,” Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University College of Law tweeted.
“To be clear for the new folks to my feed, I have been long of the belief that Trump violated Georgia law and that there was significant evidence of his intent to solicit election fraud, but it appears that the Eastman emails make that dynamic a little more black-and-white,” he later added.
“They knew they were lying. We knew they knew they were lying. No wonder Eastman has worked so hard to hide these,” former appellate defender Teri Kanefield tweeted.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.