On CNN Thursday, former federal prosecutor Harry Litman discussed U.S. District Judge David Carter's decision to turn over emails from Trump lawyer John Eastman, a key architect of the plot to steal the 2020 presidential election, to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The particularly impactful part, argued Litman, was where the judge accused the former president of signing off on statements about supposed voter fraud in the election that he knew were lies.
"Further into the writing of Judge David Carter," said anchor Bianna Golodryga. "Here is what he wrote. 'The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers.' And here's the point I'd like to highlight and get your thoughts on: "Both in court and to the public. The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.' How consequential are these words and findings by this judge, and specifically that it was not just Trump's comments in public, but in court?"
"You zero in on it exactly, Bianna," said Litman. "We know, of course, it's no news that Trump would be lying in the public, but in the court, that is a crime and a straightforward one. So in March, when he made this finding that kind of brought the world in this case, it was much more amorphous and about an overall fraud that he might have been a party to."
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His claims in court, on the other hand, made specific, concrete claims that can be easily shown to be wrong, said Litman — and it appears Trump knew they were wrong.
"This says flat-out, he signed, because for this lawsuit, there were a couple times he knew what he had to sign was false," said Litman. "It's something the DOJ will sit up and take notice of immediately ... they would otherwise be considering a freestanding charge of lying to the court."
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