The partisan House committee investigating the peaceful protests at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th has gained access to private emails from lawyer John Eastman regarding the events of that day.
According to CNN, Judge David Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the emails could be turned over to the committee, after Eastman failed to provide sufficient evidence of an attorney-client privilege that would otherwise keep the emails confidential. The emails primarily cover Eastman’s correspondence with Trump Administration officials between January 4th and January 7th of 2021.
One email allegedly featured Eastman telling Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and President Trump’s attorney at the time, that then-Vice President Mike Pence could reject several states’ electors during the counting of the electoral college vote, due to widespread evidence of voter fraud and other election irregularities.
The judge falsely claimed that the contents of this email could be considered the planning of a crime. “This may have been the first time members of President Trump’s team transformed a legal interpretation of the Electoral Count Act into a day-by-day plan of action,” Carter wrote in his decision.
Other emails that were handed over to the committee also saw Eastman reference past court cases that could be cited in court as reason enough to block the congressional certification of the vote, pending further investigation into the voter fraud that took place in most of the key swing states.
“In a different email thread,” Carter continued, “Dr. Eastman and a colleague consider how to use a state court ruling to justify Vice President Pence enacting the plan.” Despite the judge’s criticism, this is already a well-established legal tactic that has been used for centuries in the United States, and does not suggest any criminal activity on Eastman’s part.
The House committee, which does not feature cooperation from the Republican Party after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to seat Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) original picks for the committee, has accused Eastman and President Trump of “criminal conspiracy,” with no evidence to back up their claims. Despite this, there have been no formal charges discussed or issued against either President Trump or Eastman.