Judge orders Trump lawyer John Eastman to hand over 159 more emails to the January 6 committee – including one that is ‘evidence of a crime committed to overturn the election’
- House Jan. 6th committee has subpoenaed emails from Chapman University
- Eastman is suing his former employer to block it from handing them over
- He spoke at ‘Stop the Steal’ rally and counseled Trump on election overturn
- Judge says he urged Trump team to avoid courts because negative ruling would ‘tank the January 6 strategy’
- He drafted advice where VP Mike Pence could refuse to accept certified electoral votes and send them back to states for more time
- House January 6 committee holds its first prime-time hearing Thursday
A federal judge has ordering Donald Trump lawyer John Eastman to hand over 159 emails to the House January 6th Committee, despite his own claims of privilege or protection – including one email the judge said could constitute a crime.
‘This email considers whether to bring a case that would decide the interpretation of the Electoral Count Act and potentially risk a court finding that the Act binds Vice President Pence,’ wrote California-based U.S. District Judge David Carter.
‘Because the attorney concluded that a negative court ruling would “tank the January 6 strategy,” he encouraged the legal team to avoid the courts. This email cemented the direction of the January 6 plan,’ wrote Carter.
‘The Trump legal team chose not to seek recourse in court — instead, they forged ahead with a political campaign to disrupt the electoral count. Lawyers are free not to bring cases; they are not free to evade judicial review to overturn a democratic election.’
Trump lawyer John Eastman (l) is suing to keep his former employer from handing emails over to the House Jan. 6th committee. A federal judge ordered him to provide 159 emails to panel by 5pm Wednesday
The judge also ordered Eastman to hand over another 10 documents about his meeting with an unidentified group and its ‘high-profile’ leader. These documents are closely tied to the Jan. 6th probe, the judge wrote.
They include December 8 and December 9, 2020 meetings that came amid Trump’s election overturn effort.
‘Based on the agenda, Dr. Eastman discussed “State legislative actions that can reverse the media-called election for Joe Biden,” according to the ruling.
‘The agenda included a section entitled “GROUND GAME following Nov 4 Election Results,” during which a sitting Member of Congress discussed a “[p]lan to challenge the electors in the House of Representatives.”
‘One document contains the agenda for a meeting on December 16, 2020. This meeting similarly had a section on the “GROUND GAME following Nov 4 Election Results,’ according to the ruling.
Eastman drafted legal briefs that Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to accept electoral votes certified by states and send them back to states where there was a dispute
The legal wrangling comes days before the House Jan. 6 committee holds its first prime time hearing
President Donald Trump met with Eastman and other lawyers who were advising him on his election overturn effort in the last days of his presidency
‘In this segment, an elector for President Trump analyzed “The Constitutional implications of the Electoral College Meeting and What Comes Next.”
The judge said the committee had a ‘substantial interest’ in the meetings because they dealt with a key Jan. 6th objective: ‘to have contested states certify alternate slates of electors for President Trump.’
A week earlier, Eastman sent memos to the White House outlining his theory of Jan. 6th, when Congress met to count the electoral votes,
Eastman also ‘reached out to sympathetic state legislators in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona, urging them to decertify Biden electors and certify alternate Trump electors.’
The judge concluded that ‘Convincing state legislatures to certify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump’s reelection.’
The judge ordered Eastman to hand over the material by the close of business Wednesday – just a day before the Jan. 6th committee holds its first prime-time hearing.
The judge decided another 440 documents are privileged. Eastman has argued that some represent attorney-client work product.