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, a Californian judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge David Carter on Wednesday 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 has argued the emails are protected under attorney-client privilege, and should not be handed over.
On Wednesday, Carter broadly agreed – but found eight emails in particular were relevant, and should be handed over.
He found they were in furtherance of a crime – one of the few times those legal safeguards can be lifted.
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.
Trump, Carter wrote, ignored the advice and then lied to the authorities by declaring that voter fraud had occurred on a massive scale.
A California federal judge on Wednesday said then-President Donald Trump had signed a sworn statement asserting that voter fraud numbers included in a 2020 election lawsuit were accurate, despite being told the numbers were not correct
John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer, has been fighting through the courts to avoid handing over his emails to the January 6 Committee. On Wednesday a California judge ruled eight of them must be submitted
‘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.
U.S. District Judge David Carter (pictured) made the disclosure in ordering lawyer John Eastman to provide more emails to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters
‘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.
‘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.’
Representatives for Trump and Eastman are yet to comment on the order.
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 judge wrote.
Carter has previously ruled that Eastman and Trump had likely committed a felony by trying to pressure his then-vice president to obstruct Congress.
The Clinton-appointed judge has previously ordered Eastman to provide over 200 emails to the committee, after the lawyer resisted the subpoena.
Carter, who begun his career as an assistant district attorney, was the initial prosecutor in the case of serial killer William Bonin, also known as ‘The Freeway Killer,’ who became the first person executed by lethal injection in California in 1996.
Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in October 1988.
In 2000 he began presiding over the trial of 40 members of the Mexican mafia – the case would become the longest-running in the history of central California.
He also, in 2002, awarded over $88 million in damages to Anna Nicole Smith, who was battling for a slice of the estate left by her billionaire late husband, J. Howard Marshall.
The judge said Wednesday that the vast majority of emails still being sought by congressional investigators should not be handed over, as legal protections given to attorneys and their clients apply to the records.
Carter found that four emails show that Eastman and other lawyers suggested that the ‘primary goal’ of filing lawsuits was to delay Congress’s certification of the 2020 election results.
The judge said four other emails ‘demonstrate an effort by President Trump and his attorneys to press false claims in federal court for the purpose of delaying the January 6 vote.’
Trump and his allies filed over 60 lawsuits challenging the 2020 election, which Biden won, with some complaints alleging voter fraud without evidence to support those claims.
Those cases were overwhelmingly rejected by judges, some of which Trump appointed to the federal courts.
The Jan. 6 select committee last week voted to subpoena Trump in its investigation. It is set to issue a report in the coming weeks on its findings.