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Trump Under Rising Criminal Scrutiny From House Panel, DOJ

As a U.S. House panel alleges a criminal conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and the Department of Justice inquires into "false elector" schemes that were attempted in multiple battleground states, former President Trump is coming under increased scrutiny, the Guardian reports. Former federal prosecutors say that the evidence gathered yield charges against Trump for obstructing an official proceeding of Congress on January 6, 2021 or for attempting to overturn the election generally. The House January 6 panel has engaged in a battle to force Trump lawyer John Eastman to disclose documents, emails, and communications from the day the Capitol was stormed. A March 2 court filing said the panel has “a good-faith basis for concluding that the president and members of his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States." Eastman claimed that documents in his possession were protected on attorney-client privilege grounds, and Trump argued that White House records were protected due to executive privilege. Judges have disagreed.

In January, DOJ said it is conducting a criminal investigation into Trump's plan to replace the electors of seven battleground states with false electors pledged to Trump, an effort overseen by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Still, some prosecutors say DOJ needs to speed its efforts. Some have called for a special counsel to handle any possible criminal liability for Trump. Trump has responded by threats to call massive protests in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and New York City if prosecutors probing his time in office and the private sector "do anything illegal." The reference to New York City alludes to a criminal probe of the Trump Organization's business practices by the Manhattan District Attorney. In Atlanta's Fulton County, a grand jury was convened to investigate Trump's call to Georgia official Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021 during which he urged Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes to overturn Biden’s win in the state.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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