Federal Judge’s Opinion on Jan. 6 Events Does Not Mean Trump Will Be Prosecuted

Federal Judge's Opinion on Jan. 6 Events Does Not Mean Trump Will Be Prosecuted

(LibertySociety.com) – On March 28, a federal judge ruled former President Donald Trump probably committed felonies while disputing the 2020 election, but that doesn’t mean he’ll go to jail — or even face charges. In fact, the court’s ruling isn’t the same as bringing charges or prosecution, and it’s up to the Justice Department to decide whether to move forward. The judge issued an opinion, but a verdict must come from a jury, so his advisement has no immediate legal consequence on Trump.

The federal court heard the case to decide whether emails between former President Trump and Dr. John Eastman, an attorney, were protected under attorney-client privilege because the January 6 House Select Committee subpoenaed those communications. In his ruling, Judge David Carter stated the emails fell under an exception to the attorney-client privilege rule because the communications shared “more likely than not” furthered a crime.

Carter said he was only ruling over a subset of emails, not over a criminal or civil case. He ruled using a standard known as the “preponderance of the evidence,” whereas a criminal trial must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and jurors must come to a unanimous decision – a different standard entirely, thus, the judge’s opinion has no bearing on the legalities involved.

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