A federal judge on Tuesday ordered conservative attorney John Eastman, who helped craft former President Donald Trump’s strategy to overturn the electionTo hand over more than 150 emails, which include one that the judge stated contains evidence of a crime,
U.S. District Court Judge David Carter ordered Eastman turn over 159 documents that were requested by the Jan.6 Committee and not protected by attorney client privilege. court ruling First reported by Politico.
Carter said one of the documents is a December 22, 2020 email exchange in which an unidentified attorney urged Trump’s lawyers not to involve the courts in their bid to block the results of the election during the Jan. 6 session of Congress.
“Because the attorney concluded that a negative court ruling would ‘tank the January 6 strategy,’ he encouraged the legal team to avoid the courts,” Carter wrote.
The judge noted that the email contained evidence of a crime, and therefore is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
“This email cemented the direction of the January 6 plan,” he wrote. “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 can choose not to file cases, but they cannot evade judicial review to reverse a democratic election. Accordingly, this portion of the email is subject to the crime-fraud exception and must be disclosed.”
Carter also ordered Eastman to turn over 10 documents about meetings he had with an unidentified pro-Trump group whose “high-profile” leader met with Eastman to discuss Jan. 6 strategies.
The documents include a meeting agenda with a section called “GROUND GAME” that included an unidentified current member of Congress planning to “challenge the electors in the House of Representatives.”
“The Select Committee has a substantial interest in these three meetings because the presentations furthered a critical objective of the January 6 plan: to have contested states certify alternate slates of electors for President Trump,” Carter wrote. “Dr. Eastman’s actions in these few weeks indicate that his and President Trump’s pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice President Pence — it targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials. Convincing state legislatures to certify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump’s reelection.”
Some documents contain communications directly from Trump, which Carter determined were not protected by attorney-client privilege. One document included a photograph and a handwritten note by Trump about the size of his rallies. Eastman was also asked by two others for advice about public statements relating to their rallies. failed plot to send slates of fake electors To Congress
Eastman was told to turn over the documents by Wednesday before the committee holds public hearings.
Eastman in January sued to shield emails from his Chapman University account but Carter repeatedly rejected his arguments, insisting that the committee’s work was necessary to protect democracy. Carter ordered Eastman in March to turn over 101 more emails. writing that the evidence shows that it is “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” describing Eastman’s strategy as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”
Carter, however, ruled Tuesday that more than 400 emails Eastman wanted to shield were covered by attorney-client privilege.
“Review of the 409 protected documents shows that none are ‘pivotal’ to the Select Committee’s investigation,” Carter wrote. “The majority of the documents include opinions and discussions about trial strategy in ongoing or anticipated lawsuits.”
After Trump’s election loss was over, Eastman began to advise Trump. cooked up a strategy In which states were won by President Joe Biden, alternate slates of pro Trump voters would be certified. Vice President Mike Pence could then unilaterally decide to count them during certification of Electoral College vote votes. Pence refused to take part in the certification process because the state legislatures rejected the requests. Trump and Eastman kept pressing Pence until Trump directed a mob to march on Capitol. They hunted Pence, Eastman and other legislators in an unsuccessful bid to stop certification. Some Trump supporters erected a gallows outside the Capitol while others chanted “hang Mike Pence.”
One day before the Capitol riot, Pence’s top aide Marc Short called the head of the vice president’s Secret Service detail to issue a warning about Trump’s pressure campaign.
“The president was going to turn publicly against the vice president,” Short told him, according to The New York Times, “and there could be a security risk to Mr. Pence because of it.”