The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol says it has evidence that then-President Donald Trump and his campaign "engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States" and illegally attempted to obstruct the counting of electoral votes and certification of the 2020 election results in Congress. The committee made the allegations in a court filing Wednesday that is part of its attempt to persuade a judge to give the committee access to lawyer John Eastman's emails, CNN reports. Eastman, a right-wing lawyer who was on the campaign team and allegedly involved in the Jan. 6 planning, has been claiming attorney-client privilege and sued to block the release of the emails, Politico reports.
In what is being called a "major" release of its findings and, per the Hill, the "most serious" accusations leveled against Trump so far, the panel submitted excerpts of almost a dozen depositions and laid out Eastman's alleged efforts to plan a legal strategy justifying then-VP Mike Pence's overturning of the election results, and his alleged continued pushing of Pence to do so even after the mob of rioters stormed the Capitol. Accused by Pence's counsel of being to blame for the "siege," Eastman responded, "The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the American people can see for themselves what happened." The committee says Eastman knew he was asking Pence to violate the law, but carried on anyway. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)