The committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Monday referred for criminal prosecution former President Donald Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman, who lives in Santa Fe.
The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol said in a presentation that both Trump and Eastman may have obstructed an official proceeding. The committee also said there’s evidence of conspiracy to defraud the United States, in addition to possibly other crimes that were done in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“We believe that the evidence described by my colleagues today … warrants a criminal referral of former President Donald J. Trump, John Eastman and others,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
Eastman is a Republican who has voted in every local and statewide New Mexico election since November 2018.
He has been brought up during the course of the House committee’s year-and-a-half long investigation into the Capitol attack. Previous testimony and documents released by the committee accused Eastman of requesting a presidential pardon from Trump for post-election activities.
Among other things, Eastman drafted a legal memo that sought to build a case for ex-Vice President Mike Pence overturning the results when electoral votes were to be certified on Jan. 6, 2021.
The referral essentially amounts to the committee asking the Department of Justice to investigate Trump and Eastman for potential crimes. It would fall on federal prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges against the men.
The committee’s report on its investigation is expected to be released later this week.
Eastman’s attorneys couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
“We trust that the Department of Justice will be able to form a far more complete picture based on its investigation,” Raskin said.