It’s seemed like an uphill climb for John Eastman to keep his emails private, especially since the school whose email system he used said that he broke the user agreement and that the school therefore owned the material, not Eastman.
This was a school, by the way, where Eastman had once been the dean of their law school.
In a scathing 44-page ruling, federal judge David O. Carter made clear how much higher that hill for Eastman was, along with all the barriers in the path. It’s filled with damning statements, but I think the most brutal passage comes on page 35. That’s when Judge Carter writes in no uncertain, blunt terms –
“The illegality of the plan was obvious. Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election. As Vice President Pence stated, ‘no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority.’ Every American—and certainly the President of the United States—knows that in a democracy, leaders are elected, not installed. With a plan this ‘BOLD,’ President Trump knowingly tried to subvert this fundamental principle.
“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.”
He also wrote that the actions taken by Trump and Eastman, amounted to “a coup in search of a legal theory.”
I will assume that this ruling will be appealed. But based on the extensive, detailed evidence of the knowledge and criminal intent of the participants that Judge Carter presents – and keep in mind that the judge has read all the material which, at present, has been kept from the public – it seems like his ruling is authoritative. So, appealing a ruling hardly means that the appeal will be upheld. That’s another high hill for Eastman to climb.
It's important to note, as well, that this ruling only pertains to John Eastman and his attempt to keep his emails from going to the January 6 Select Committee. It is not about Trump. However, in presenting his evidence for making his ruling, the details Judge Carter offers are comprehensively about Trump, his knowledge of the efforts to overthrow democracy, and the criminal intent of his actions.
When a federal judge rules that “The illegality of the plan was obvious” – a plan made between Eastman, others and Trump – and that “Based on the evidence [My emphasis of “evidence” added], the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021”, what this does is put added focus on the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation of Trump. If they haven’t done so already.
For those who like to make it through such things, you can read the full ruling here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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