Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2022

Federal Judge Rules Trump “Corruptly Attempted To Obstruct Congress”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:06 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Just quickly putting up a fresh thread here. You can continue to talk about The Slap in the Weekend Open Thread if you want.

A federal judge has ruled that Trump “likely” committed a crime in an attempt to overturn the election:

A federal judge ruled Monday that former President Donald Trump likely “corruptly attempted to obstruct” Congress from certifying the 2020 election, in a case over whether a House committee will receive a lawyer’s emails while investigating the attack on the Capitol.

The illegality of the plan was obvious,” U.S. District Judge David Carter in California wrote in approving the transfer of John Eastman’s emails to the committee. “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.”

More:

“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,” Carter wrote. “If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”

Note: The remarkable ruling may be the first in history in which a federal judge determined a president, while in office, appeared to commit a crime.

After the judge’s ruling, Dr. Eastman’s lawyer said that while his client disagrees with the ruling, he would comply with the court’s order.

Trump’s team reacted to Judge Carter’s ruling as you would expect:

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich called the decision “absurd” and “baseless” from a judge appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

“The January 6 Committee, and related proceedings, is a circus of partisanship that is exposing public officials at every level of government for their willingness to put politics ahead of the law and the Constitution,” Budowich said.

And for those who may be suspicious of Judge Carter because Trump, you might want to take a gander at his biography here.

As far as I can see, Trump himself has not responded to the ruling. In fact, he seems to be more interested in debating his rally attendance numbers:

We had a massive crowd last night in Georgia, but as usual, the Fake News Media absolutely refuses to show it. People are estimating 25,000 to 35,000 people, but our record so far is Texas with 87,000 people with 50,000 being turned away. This is really fun!

–Dana

48 Responses to “Federal Judge Rules Trump “Corruptly Attempted To Obstruct Congress””

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. Well, I’m sure we’ll know as soon as the emails are leaked.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  3. This is why Hillary had her own email server.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  4. While I think that Trump is guilty of this, and more, I would very much like to see some Congressional subpoena quashed by a judge who says “The last time you guys were here you said the information would be held in confidence, but it wasn’t. This time I won’t give you the chance.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  5. As I said in the other thread, I don’t think that trying to get Mike Pence to rule that some votes should not be counted was criminal, and it’s not obstruction of an official proceeding of the United States.

    Otherwise, anyone who makes a point of order that is not upheld, or at least lobbied someone to make a point of order, obstructed an official proceeding. I don’t think we want to go there, even with points of order that are obviously unsound.

    It’s not obstruction, it’s part of the proceedings. It is not illegal, it is unconstitutional.

    Sammy Finkelman (c04aa1)

  6. And for those who may be suspicious of cheerleading Judge Carter because Trump

    fify

    JF (e1156d)

  7. the jury returned a verdict of “likely guilty”

    this happens all the time

    JF (e1156d)

  8. I thought Congress obstructing the President, and the President obstructing Congress was a feature not a bug

    steveg (e81d76)

  9. Meanwhile, beneath the fold, Biden again proposes a 20% wealth tax.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  10. It’s not obstruction, it’s part of the proceedings. It is not illegal, it is unconstitutional.

    Anything that isn’t expressly permitted, is illegal.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  11. I thought Congress obstructing the President, and the President obstructing Congress was a feature not a bug

    Actually, it’s the courts that obstruct the President. The president obstructs Congress, and Congress obstructs the courts by putting utter chowderheads in office for life.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. lmao
    russia russia russia
    comey comey comey
    what will these people do next to the rino party?
    lmao
    u peeps have no chance

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. Anything that isn’t expressly permitted, is illegal

    9th Amendment says hello.

    SaveFarris (6139a3)

  14. The judge spends a lot of time talking about the scope of attorney-client privilege, but did I miss the part where he directly addresses whether it applies to Congress in the first place? (The general rule is that it does not.)

    It’s okay, you can tell me, I won’t tell anybody else.

    nk (1d9030)

  15. You’re right, comrades. It is not there. Eastman got a gift just by being allowed to bullsh!t the Court the way he bullsh!tted everybody on the electoral count. If I had been the judge, my ruling not have taken 44 pages. It would have been eleven words: “Tell it to the judge who tries you for contempt of Congress.”

    nk (1d9030)

  16. The bottom line is that the Dems are probably going to lose their House majority starting January 2023, so it’s in the committee’s interests to be aggressively prosecute the stonewallers, so they can write their report before year end and send it to Garland.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  17. As far as I can see, Trump himself has not responded to the ruling. In fact, he seems to be more interested in debating his rally attendance numbers:

    Amy Schumer just had to go and call Kirsten Dunst a seat filler.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. 9th Amendment says hello.

    Inkblot says “I got you covered.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  19. I thought attorney-client privilege was a universal rule in American law — but what does it rest on?

    Sammy Finkelman (c04aa1)

  20. I thought attorney-client privilege was a universal rule in American law — but what does it rest on?

    The common law, and Congress has disavowed common law privileges. It sets the rules for its proceedings. The Fourth and Fifth Amendment it cannot disavow since they’re in the Constitution.

    It’s also important to understand the distinction between the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality to his client (or the doctor’s to his patient or the spouse to the other spouse, for that matter) and the testimonial privilege. The first says you are not allowed to blab on your own volition, and the second says the tribunal cannot permit you or compel you to blab in a legal proceeding without the other party’s consent.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. OT: We have Senators showing literal receipts that Don Trump Jr. received $100,000 from a Chinese Communist Party entity (CEFC) in 2017, with no apparent explanation what kind of services Jr. was known to offer.

    We should be hearing and reading some explosive outrage of this apparant “pay to play” scheme at any moment…right?













    Oh, wait! Did I say Trump Jr.?

    I meant to say Hunter Biden:
    https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/29/senators-release-receipts-showing-direct-payments-from-foreign-oligarchs-to-hunter-biden/

    whembly (3b5b58)

  22. Hunter Biden doing business with Chinese oligarchs. Imagine that! Who did he think he was? A Kushner?

    The Kushner family hopes to lure investments from wealthy business owners in China with the promise of American visas.

    Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, spoke at an event in Beijing on Saturday. She was marketing a Kushner-owned property in New Jersey — invest in the development and get into the United States on a so-called EB-5 visa.

    The EB-5 visa allows immigrants a path to a green card if they invest more than $500,000 in a project that creates jobs in the United States.

    An ad for the event, held at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, said “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

    nk (1d9030)

  23. @22 nk: Cool. Now do Hunter who’s father is the current President.

    whembly (ce5f56)

  24. Trump has a request for Putin:

    https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/all-things-trump/trump-calls-putin-release-info-hunter-bidens-dealings-oligarchs

    I guess since he’s a private citizen, you can’t impeach him for this. But, hey. You can’t say he trats Putin differently from the Ukraine. Everybody gets the same inappropriate request.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  25. @22 nk: Cool. Now do Hunter who’s father is the current President.

    And according to you, Hunter’s Chinese dealings were in 2017 when his daddy was not President, whereas the Kushners’ dealings were in 2018 when Ivanka’s daddy was President and she and Hubby Kushner had offices in the White House.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. The judge spends a lot of time talking about the scope of attorney-client privilege, but did I miss the part where he directly addresses whether it applies to Congress in the first place? (The general rule is that it does not.)

    It’s okay, you can tell me, I won’t tell anybody else.

    nk (1d9030) — 3/28/2022 @ 6:34 pm

    It’s not a question of whether attorney-client privilege applies to Congress, but whether whether the emails are not protected under the crime fraud exception, which states that “the attorney-client privilege does not cover statements made by a client to their lawyer if the statements are meant to further or conceal a crime.” Judge Carter’s opinion that Trump “likely” committed a crime is the basis for applying the exception.

    It is interesting that Eastman said he would comply with the ruling and not appeal.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. You don’t need an exception (and there are others besides crime/fraud) if there is no privilege to begin with.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. Judge Carter’s opinion that Trump “likely” committed a crime is the basis for applying the exception.

    And since Trump was not a party to, and did not participate in, the proceeding, that has the same legal worth as my opinion of a Jewel chocolate truffle torte.

    nk (1d9030)

  29. You don’t need an exception (and there are others besides crime/fraud) if there is no privilege to begin with.

    nk (1d9030) — 3/29/2022 @ 9:37 am

    That’s true, but the court discusses the crime fraud exception on pages 30-40, and that at least one email needed to be disclosed under that exception.

    The eleventh document is a chain forwarding to Dr. Eastman a draft memo written for President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani.274 The memo recommended that Vice President Pence reject electors from contested states on January 6. This may have been the first time members of President Trump’s team transformed a legal interpretation of the Electoral Count Act into a day-by-day plan of action. The draft memo pushed a strategy that knowingly violated the Electoral Count Act, and Dr. Eastman’s later memos closely track its analysis and proposal. The memo is both intimately related to and clearly advanced the plan to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Because the memo likely furthered the crimes of obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, it is subject to the crime-fraud exception and the Court ORDERS it to be disclosed.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. Actually less. A lay opinion of the culinary quality of a pastry is admissible into evidence. A legal conclusion is not.

    nk (1d9030)

  31. And according to you, Hunter’s Chinese dealings were in 2017 when his daddy was not President, whereas the Kushners’ dealings were in 2018 when Ivanka’s daddy was President and she and Hubby Kushner had offices in the White House.

    The only differences here are which law was broken. Hunter appears to have been an unregistered foreign agent, unless there was some other service rendered (like what? more “board” service?). Kushner’s dealings could have been legit, or illegal things like bribery or payment for influence.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  32. So, there’s a 7-hour gap in Trump’s WH phone records from Jan 6th (11 AM to 6PM EST). Was it edited? Was Trump using burner phones? It’s known he was on the phone with people during that time.

    Rosemary Woods was not available for comment.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  33. Is the use of burner phones probative evidence in a conspiracy trial?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  34. Congress denied executive assistance, denied representation of the People assembled, the police extended an invitation, summarily pulled the rug, facilitated a riot, chose to shoot an unarmed woman to death and beat another to death in their attempts to “calm” the situation.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. Anyone who was watching the feed on Jan 6th knew that everything was different the moment the crowd went inside. Presumably, the crowd did too.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  36. nk (1d9030) — 3/29/2022 @ 9:25 am

    Hunter’s Chinese dealings were in 2017 when his daddy was not President,

    e also had dealings in 2013, but it is much less clear He and some other people were supposed to invest money for some entity in China. Trump, of course, had to exaggerate when he made an accusation. Hunter Biden had not “walked out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund.” (The $1.5 billion figure appears to be a goal the executives of that fund publicly said in 2914 was the amount of Chinese money they wanted to invest outside China. Hunter Biden said he did not become a principle in that firm until 2017.)

    The 2017 dealing, which included a provision for 10% to go to Joe Biden himself, fell through. The oligarch was purged and his company destroyed, possibly because he was doing this independently.

    https://nypost.com/article/hunter-biden-china-timeline-business-ties

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-we-know-about-hunter-bidens-dealings-in-china-11570181403

    https://nypost.com/2020/10/15/emails-reveal-how-hunter-biden-tried-to-cash-in-big-with-chinese-firm

    As I said, the Chinese oligarch who tried to build a relationship with the Biden family when Biden was out of office, got purged. In the meantime Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim and his family got to spend maybe $100,000 some of which was probably not at all fr business purposes.

    Sammy Finkelman (c04aa1)

  37. Trump calls on Putin to release dirt on Hunter Biden
    ……..
    Trump’s remarks, in an interview with discredited far-right journalist John Solomon, were published Tuesday by the “Just the News” television show on the Real America’s Voice network.
    …….
    Trump has repeatedly promoted dubious claims of foreign business dealings by Hunter Biden, specifically alleging that he received millions of dollars from the wife of Moscow’s late mayor, Yury Luzhkov.

    “She gave him $3.5 million so now I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it,” Trump said in the interview, conducted at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “I think we should know that answer.”

    Trump failed to mention that he himself sought to do business with Luzhkov’s government in the late 1990s, according to POLITICO. Trump also was pursuing high-profile real estate deals in Russia as recently as 2016, including a proposed Trump Tower Moscow.
    ………
    Trump described Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “genius” and “savvy” last month, and he argued that Joe Biden was “almost giving [Putin] an incentive” to deploy nuclear weapons amid the conflict last week.
    ##########


    Going back to an old friend.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  38. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Jianming

    Ye was detained and put under investigation in March 2018 on suspicion of economic crimes.[9] According to South China Morning Post and AsiaNews, the order for the investigation came from Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping.[10][11] Shanghai Guosheng Group, a portfolio and investment agency controlled by the Government of Shanghai, subsequently took control of CEFC China Energy in March 2018.[12][13] In October 2018, it was reported that prosecutors alleged Wang Sanyun, former Communist Party Secretary of Gansu province, had accepted bribes from Ye Jianming in 2011.[14]

    So Hunter Biden has no reason to like Xi Jinping.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  39. Putin (and many others) could reveal that when Joe Biden claimed he got a prosecutor fired, he was making the whole thing up!

    Nobody should know better than Putin. He took a claim Joe Biden made on January 23, 2018, and twisted it. You would think that Joe Biden was trapped. He couldn’t explain what really happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  40. nk (1d9030) — 3/29/2022 @ 6:40 am

    …Congress has disavowed common law privileges. It sets the rules for its proceedings. The Fourth and Fifth Amendment it cannot disavow since they’re in the Constitution.

    I think there’s another issue as well.

    Where does Congress get the right to compel testimony in the first place? There is the matter of an impeachment inquiry, but excluding that, where else? They seem to have settled on legislative purpose.

    The judge also ruled that much of the Eastman material concerned political strategy and was not legal advice.

    With regard to possible crimes, in addition to the claim that trying to get Mike Pence to reject ballots amounted to the crime of obstructing an official proceeding, the Jan 6 committee also claimed there was forgery. There had been fake electors. But a forgery is when someone is being fooled as to the nature of a document. Everybody knew what that was.

    Now if they ones with a fake governor’s signature had been submitted that would be forgery.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  41. I don’t think Trump is running for president in 2024, or else he would not have started that lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and others.

    The lawsuit, by the way, seems to accuse them of something that might not be a tort. Damaghing his reputation?

    Now trying to cause a federal investigation to be started, on the basis of false information, does sound like it ought to be a tort, but he doesn’t focus on that.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  42. I don’t think Trump is running for president in 2024, or else he would not have started that lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and others.

    The lawsuit, by the way, seems to accuse them of something that might not be a tort. Damaghing his reputation?

    Now trying to cause a federal investigation to be started, on the basis of false information, does sound like it ought to be a tort, but he doesn’t focus on that.

    The lawsuit is a joke. It won’t make it past a motion to dismiss, but if it does, each of the 48 defendants will get to question Trump ad nauseum.

    Bring on the popcorn!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. The lawsuit, by the way, seems to accuse them of something that might not be a tort. Damaghing (sic) his reputation?

    Trump has no reputation to be damaged.

    Here are the 16 counts in the lawsuit (some against only certain defendants):

    (1) RICO law violations;
    (2) RICO conspiracy;
    (3) injurious falsehood;
    (4) conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood;
    (5) malicious prosecution;
    (6) conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution;
    (7) computer fraud and abuse;
    (8) theft of trade secrets;
    (9) violations of the Stored Communications Act;
    (10) agency (e.g., that Clinton acted as a principal and directed her agents to harm Trump);
    (11) respondeat superior (e.g., that Perkins Coie “is vicariously responsible for the torturous conduct of its agents, servants, representatives, employees and/or contractors”);
    (12-16) respondeat superior/vicarious liability against the DNC; the Clinton Campaign; Fusion GPS; Orbis Business Intelligence; and Neustar.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. Putin, Putin, please help me!

    Fred (e4803a)

  45. 32. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/29/2022 @ 10:52 am

    So, there’s a 7-hour gap in Trump’s WH phone records from Jan 6th (11 AM to 6PM EST). Was it edited? Was Trump using burner phones?

    Unlikely, and why would he? He was possibly imperfectly following legal advice because a person is not supposed to use a government phone for non-government business. He probably switched phones to talk to his private lawyers, maybe Giuliani, and kept on using the same phone.

    Whatmissing here is the answer to the question: How often did he use non-government phones?

    It wouldn’t have been a burner phone!

    Sammy Finkelman (c04aa1)

  46. It wouldn’t have been a burner phone!

    Then the records could be subpoenaed. If they can break though privilege, they can get records from a mere corporation.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  47. I also don’t think that Trump is running in 2024. I think he has cut (sealed) deals with NY State and the feds to avoid prosecution, and part of that is that he not run for public office; pretty much the Agnew deal.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  48. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/30/2022 @ 11:53 am

    I also don’t think that Trump is running in 2024. I think he has cut (sealed) deals with NY State and the feds to avoid prosecution, and part of that is that he not run for public office; pretty much the Agnew deal.

    I don;t think he could make adeal with New York State and keep it secret – but I think Governor Eliot Spitzer did something like that.

    I think there’s also the “natural” deal – if he doesn’t run, all sorts of people will lose interest in investigating him.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2075 secs.