A federal judge found that Donald Trump "more likely than not" committed crimes in a bid to remain power, setting off a variety of reactions from legal experts.
Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California issued a 44-page ruling Monday ordering former Trump legal adviser John Eastman to turn over emails he had sought to shield from the House select committee, and the judge found that both he and the former president had likely engaged in obstruction of justice.
"Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history," the judge wrote. "Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower—it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process."
The ruling stunned observers.
Wow. Federal court finds that Trump likely committed crimes in connection with 1/6\n\nI have been saying that for a while including in my big \u2066@BrookingsGov\u2069 reports\n\nAccountability may not be fast but it is coming. In America no one is above the law.https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/trump-judge-felony-obstruction-insurrection-00020918\u00a0\u2026— Norm Eisen (@Norm Eisen) 1648483499
\u201cBased on the evidence, the Court finds it MORE LIKELY THAN NOT that\u2026#Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct\u2026Congress on January 6, 2021.\u201d Prosecutors have a higher standard - \u201cbeyond a reasonable doubt.\u201d It\u2019s why #DOJ MUST investigate him.https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/trump-judge-felony-obstruction-insurrection-00020918\u00a0\u2026— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley) 1648485241
This has a Watergate feel to it. A first step connecting Trump directly to Jan 6th illegal insurrection.https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/trump-judge-felony-obstruction-insurrection-00020918\u00a0\u2026— Ti-Hua Chang (@Ti-Hua Chang) 1648484569
This is a massive ruling. Judge has determined that Donald TRUMP likely committed felony obstruction of Congress.\n\nhttps://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cacd.841840/gov.uscourts.cacd.841840.260.0.pdf\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/pYkSNnA0oH— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1648482299
On August 19, I told the TV lawyers to stop thinking about incitement for Trump, bc DOJ was setting up an obstruction charge for him. Everyone told me I wasn't a former prosecutor so I didn't know what I was talking about.https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/08/19/how-a-trump-prosecution-for-january-6-would-work/\u00a0\u2026— emptywheel (@emptywheel) 1648483820
So does trump just get away with \u201clikely committed felony obstruction?\u201dhttps://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/trump-judge-felony-obstruction-insurrection-00020918\u00a0\u2026— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1648483022
And if Trump committed felony obstruction of Congress let\u2019s bring to justice those GOP members of Congress who were accomplices to that obstruction!https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/trump-judge-felony-obstruction-insurrection-00020918\u00a0\u2026— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair) 1648483209
Wow. A federal judge, in ordering Eastman to give the Jan. 6 committee his relevant email correspondence with Trump, notes that it's likely that Trump committed fraud. https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cacd.841840/gov.uscourts.cacd.841840.260.0.pdf\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/rDqPEqUSAr— Tim O'Brien (@Tim O'Brien) 1648485325
NOW WATCH: Trump all but formally announces his goals to re-run for president, 'he wants to cloak himself in immunity'
Trump all but formally announces goals to re-run for president, 'wants to cloak himself in immunity' www.youtube.com