House Panel on Jan. 6 Insurrection Argues in Court – Finally – that Trump and Allies Conspired to Defraud the US and Obstruct Official Proceedings

by on March 3, 2022 · 8 comments

in Election

When in law school years ago, we were taught in a Legal Ethics class that the attorney-client privilege was very strong. Yet, the privilege would not stand up if it was being used to hide criminal activity. That rule is well-accepted. Attorney-client communications cannot be used to conceal crimes by the client.

And that is exactly what lawyers for the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol argued in a federal court filing Wednesday. Former president Donald Trump and key allies were involved in potential crimes. Therefore, Trump lawyer John Eastman’s claim of privilege is voided by the “crime/fraud exception” to the confidentiality usually accorded attorneys and their clients.

What were the potential crimes?

Trump and his cohorts tried to overturn the election; specifically, conspiring to defraud the United States and obstructing an official congressional proceeding — the counting of electoral votes. The filing asserts:

“The Select Committee also has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

Further, the filing states:

“As the courts were overwhelmingly ruling against President Trump’s claims of election misconduct, he and his associates began to plan extra-judicial efforts to overturn the results of the election and prevent the President-elect from assuming office.

At the heart of these efforts was an aggressive public misinformation campaign to persuade millions of Americans that the election had in fact been stolen. The President and his associates persisted in making ‘stolen election’ claims even after the President’s own appointees at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, along with his own campaign staff, had informed the President that his claims were wrong.”

According to the Washington Post:

The filing is intended to challenge Eastman’s claim that he should not be required to turn over thousands of emails the committee has requested — and it attempts to show that Eastman directly encouraged people in the government to not follow the Electoral Count Act, the 1887 law governing the congressional certification process.

Eastman has so far submitted roughly 8,000 pages of emails to committee investigators but is withholding about 11,000 documents, citing attorney-client privilege. Last month, a U.S. district judge in California ordered an expedited schedule to review Eastman’s bid to shield emails sent between Jan. 4 and Jan. 7.

The committee’s deposition showed that Eastman declined repeatedly to answer questions when interviewed by the panel, pleading the Fifth Amendment.

The Panel’s lawyers argued that documents will demonstrate that lawyer Eastman “provided advice to advance an agreement to impede the transfer of power to the President elect and the Vice President elect.”

They will show Eastman “provided advice to advance efforts to obstruct, impede, or influence the counting of electoral college ballots before a Joint Session of Congress.” The former president and others “may have been involved in common law fraud in connections with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”

Even though Trump was repeatedly told that his claims of election fraud were not supported by evidence, Trump continued to push the stolen election thesis publicly.

“The President nevertheless continued to insist falsely through January that he had ‘won the election in a landslide.’ And despite being repeatedly told that his allegations of campaign fraud were false, the President continued to feature those same false allegations in ads seen by millions of Americans.”

The panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), and vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), issued a joint statement:

“The facts we’ve gathered strongly suggest that Dr. Eastman’s emails may show that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to impede the transfer of power.”

This filing is a head-turner, for at last, government lawyers are in court arguing – based on the panel’s findings – that Trump and some of his allies potentially committed crimes during the effort to overturn Biden’s victory and by falsely stating repeatedly that the election was stolen.

Now, this particular legal skirmish is not the big one. It only will decide whether Eastman has to turn over thousands of documents he claimed were protected by the attorney-client privilege. And from my law school days, it should be a slam-dunk. Let’s get on with actually charging Trump with conspiracy and crimes.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

James March 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm

Still, the so called Progressive Left still does not understand, or embrace the concept of “Innocent, until proven guilty, in a court of law”.


Frank Gormlie March 4, 2022 at 2:45 pm

Whaaaat?? You’re crazy. It was the left who put it in the constitution.


sealintheselkirks March 4, 2022 at 5:01 pm

No, not crazy I don’t think, Frank. Just ignorant of history like so many others in this country. I’m sure we both (along with a bunch of others on this site) could direct him to certain books that would truly help him out of the mind fog that is clouding his mind…if he’d read them that is.



Paul Webb March 6, 2022 at 11:58 am

This is like Lauren Boebert saying that the Constitution has not evolved, forgetting that her precious second amendment was not actually part of the Constitution as it was originally written.


sealintheselkirks March 6, 2022 at 6:14 pm

I couldn’t imagine being alive with a mind running on pure Amygdala. Isn’t that close to the ancient reptile section of our brain?

Bet Boebert has no idea that “under god” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950s along with god we trust put on money (I have a 1905 $10 bill) signed in to law by Eisenhower (who?), and that the filibuster came into power in 1970s.

But she’s all for the ‘original’ interpretation. That’s hilarious in a dark humor kind of way don’t you think?

Can somebody tell this congresscritter that she would be banned from voting much less running for office (gasp, the horror, women in office?!) along with a list of woman-aren’t-allowed rules? Not to mention what happens when you get called a witch by somebody you pissed off. Of course our colonist ancestors only hung them instead of burning them to death like they did in Europe.

But somehow I don’t think she has ever read this document. Of course one must take it in small gulps to give a reader time to actually think about what they’ve read. Maybe a page a month for Boebert? Have to be careful keeping the strain to a minimum. Wouldn’t want to give her a headache or anything.

But I do admit that it really is hard to put oneself in the authors’ shoes, though. Not being raised from childhood ruled by a god-ordained king, owning slaves, and killing natives to take their sh&t, and then deciding to become traitors to god, king, and country as adults to avoid paying taxes…I just can’t imagine living then.

I know but…I just couldn’t help myself adding to your thought, Paul Webb. Dark humor, remember? You go chainsaw rounds all afternoon and load them in the truck to bring home and see how ornery you feel about dealing with stupid when you get a notice from the RAG about comments! Sheesh, people ELECTED these idiots. That is some serious dark there and not all that funny, either…

There are some REALLY stupid people in high offices in this country.



Geoff Page March 7, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Go to 1:06 where the congressman says you don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in Congress.


Shelly Schwartlander March 8, 2022 at 3:57 pm

Ignorant of history got a boost in the south when integration of schools was inescapable which I recall was as late as 1971 in Georgia. Suddenly these little schools popped up everywhere. I called them ‘Christian Acadamies” a term I must have heard. I was in about 9th grade and recall integration was achieved by closing black neighborhood schools and splitting up student body and sending them to existing white schools. No bussing of white kids. Once these schools started there was no turning back. Then came home-schooling. End of civics and much else that we got in public school even in the worst public schools like Georgia’s. So I say that’s where so many in high places who know so little came from. My age grooup (class of ’73) onward.


sealintheselkirks March 8, 2022 at 12:43 am

Geoff, I knew it had to be that Arkansas idiot on Religulous. I’ve got the dvd of course. The look on his face…As I married a woman born & raised in Mountain Home Arkansas and a graduate of Rogers High School who moved to MB in early 1980, I have some first hand experience with his kind of people…some of her relatives that I met on visits really were just like this Senator. Just dumb as a fence post and proud of it without any understanding of irony whatsoever so I did have some fun screwing with their heads and they didn’t even know it. Pretty sad, actually, and I didn’t make any friends except the kids who loved my being a longhair California surfer (lots of shark questions) and a karate (UKF student then) guy they could mess with. But the adults were…a mite narrow between the eyes so to speak. What the kids probably became a few years later unfortunately…

But imagine requiring a university-level US history test for everyone wanting to run for public office. Especially if written essays were required, no multiple choice questions allowed! The failure rate would be astronomical. Which would be a good thing!

But then I’ve always been a proponent of having a true choice on every ballot. A ‘none of the above’ box for all positions in government and if that box gets the most votes NONE of the candidates are allowed on the ballot for a re-vote. Never happen but one can dream, eh?

That would truly be the start of democracy in this country, not this two-faces of the corporate-funded party crap we’ve got now.


You did catch Florida Gov DeSatan intimidating those kids to take off their masks the other day for his freaking press conference? Glad to see a couple had the courage to stand up to that dickhead. Trump’s replacement I guess.



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