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You are here News Politics Trump’s Legal Advisers Could Be the First Major Jan. 6 Defendants

Trump’s Legal Advisers Could Be the First Major Jan. 6 Defendants

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Next hearing may feature Trump legal advisersThis week’s riveting testimony from the Jan. 6 Committee has driven speculation about whether sufficient evidence now exists to criminally charge former President Donald Trump. While that remains a complex legal question, there is a straightforward crime that could be charged quickly — and the targets are Trump’s band of dishonest attorneys.

Of all the evidence uncovered by the committee, what jumps out to me as a former federal prosecutor are the “fake elector” certificates signed by Trump electors and submitted to former Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to delay the certification of the electoral votes on January 6. Those certificates contained statements that are easily proven false.

For example, some listed names of people who weren’t even Trump electors that cycle. Others claimed that they were “duly elected.” When you make a false statement to the federal government, you’re putting a target on your back. If you lie to the U.S. government, you can be charged with a felony. Federal prosecutors have frequently charged defendants ranging from Martha Stewart to Michael Flynn with committing this crime. Prosecutors like charging this statute because it can be straightforward to prove, and judges can look at the full range of the defendant’s conduct at sentencing.

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