In 2020, Donald Trump and his associates attempted to overturn the result of the election, spreading false claims that Jo Biden’s win was based on fraudulent votes. Was this part of a criminal conspiracy?
Much controversy has surrounded Donald Trump’s presidency since the very beginning, and the year 2020 was no different. The end of Trump’s presidency unraveled as both chaotic and corrupt. The events surrounding the 2020 election led many to believe that Trump and his party were guilty of criminal misconduct.
Depending on the circumstances, conspiracy in law can be incredibly difficult to prove. Many suspected that Trump was guilty of criminality involving the election but, in the aftermath of Biden’s win, these claims remained unproven.
Many suspected that Trump’s actions amounted to criminal conspiracy. In this article, we explore the events surrounding the election, and the new evidence that incriminates Trump and his allies.
The Background of the Criminal Conspiracy
Earlier this year, the House select committee uncovered evidence to prove that Trump orchestrated a criminal conspiracy. The conspiracy attempted to stop Congress from certifying the victory of Joe Biden.
There’s much to suggest that Donald Trump and his associates circulated misinformation about the election result. Trump’s team pressurized several state officials in an attempt to overturn the outcome.
Over the last few months, The House select committee investigated the case against Trump, including the events of the January 6th Capitol riot. As the investigation continued, the committee attempted to gain access to incriminating emails between right-wing solicitor John Eastman and Trump’s counsel.
The Lead Up to the January 6th Capitol Riot
In the months before the election, Trump began to spread false information. In the lead-up to the January 6th Capitol riot, Trump gave a speech, which made false claims about the validity of the election result. Trump asked for his supporters to join him, to fight congress, demanding that the election results were not accepted.
Trump declared, ‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women.’ He continued, ‘We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.’
He also used his Twitter account to rally up his supporters. On Dec 18, Trump Tweeted, ‘We won the Presidential Election, by a lot. FIGHT FOR IT. Don’t let them take it away!’
Trump’s supporters responded to his words with action; they stormed the Capitol and overpowered the police. The chaos of the riots meant that Congress was temporarily prevented from counting electoral votes. The attack on the US Capitol caused ‘$15 million in damages and left 7 people dead.
Was Trump Involved in a Criminal Conspiracy?
Committee House solicitors claimed that ‘Evidence and information available to the Committee establish a good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts, and that Plaintiff’s legal assistance was used in furtherance of those activities.’
So far, no state and federal prosecutors have officially accused John Eastman or Trump of a crime, nor have any of Trump’s advisers been charged for crimes related to the Capitol riot. As it stands, the House Committee does not have the power to raise criminal charges; this lies in the hands of the judge who is overseeing the lawsuit.
Eastman helped Trump to prevent Joe Biden’s certification, and evidence shows that Eastman was aware that these actions were unlawful. John Eastman initially protected himself and Trump using the grounds of client-attorney privilege. He refused to provide a large file of emails and documents, requested by the committee.
Eastman exchanged emails with the ex-president’s counsel, including Greg Jacob and Mike Pence. In these emails, he confirmed that the actions of Trump and his allies would violate the Electoral Act. Despite this knowledge, Eastman encouraged Pence to go ahead with the scheme.
There has been some speculation that other Trump associates, including Steve Bannon and Rudy Guiliani, knew that these actions were against the Electoral Count Act.
Trump and his party engaged in a strategy to postpone a planned joint session, past the date of January 6. The plan was to gain more time so that Trump’s associates could persuade the state to overthrow Biden’s win.
What Was the Content of the Incriminating Emails?
In the incriminating email exchange, John Eastman expressed that he was aware unlawful acts were committed, saying, ‘The Senate and House have both violated the Electoral Count Act this evening – they debated the Arizona objections for more than two hours. Violation of 3 USC 17.’ He then added that Pence should have no problem committing, ‘one more minor violation and adjourn for 10 days.’
Former prosecutors claim that evidence of criminal conduct is growing. The evidence indicates that the former president obstructed official Congress proceedings, and attempted to defraud the US Government.
The Signs of Conspiracy Were There
In the lead up to the election, and, Trump’s conduct led many to suspect him of criminal acts against the US government. The issue was always proving that criminality with solid evidence. The House committee solicitors hope that the new email evidence will be enough to bring about charges.
Over one hundred emails were originally protected by client-attorney privilege. The committee had to gain access to these emails, to escalate the case.
In March 2022, a judge permitted a review of the potentially incriminating emails. The case is still ongoing, yet a federal judge recently concluded that Donald Trump, ‘more than likely than not committed a federal crime’.