May 24, 2022

Former Trump lawyer set to release trove of Jan. 6 emails to House panel

In a legal development certain to shock and frustrate former President Donald Trump, one of his former attorneys appears poised to provide to the Democrat-led House committee probing the events of Jan. 6, 2021, some 10,000 pages of emails regarding work he undertook in the dispute over the 2020 election results, as the Washington Examiner reports.

The lawyer at issue, John Eastman, had previously claimed that these pages – along with thousands of others – were subject to his claim of executive privilege, an assertion on which he eventually backtracked in response to a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge David Carter.

In Carter’s view, Eastman and Trump “more likely than not” engaged in a conspiracy to illegally overturn the presidential election results, and as a result of that finding, Eastman waived his privilege claim on roughly 10,000 pages of communications.

Politico noted that according to a Friday filing by Eastman’s attorneys, the congressional committee is now seeking additional time to determine how best to handle another 27,000 pages of disputed records, and as such, they have asked for a reprieve on Carter’s prior order for the production of a log of all outstanding contested communications.

In Eastman’s view, Carter’s prior ruling regarding the supposed conspiracy did not take into consideration the fact that several Trump aides had worked to persuade the then-president that potentially outcome-determinative fraud had indeed occurred in 2020.

“Such evidence is directly contrary to this Court’s March 28 finding that President Trump had been conclusively informed that there was no material fraud or illegality,” attorneys for Eastman wrote.

Accordingly, Eastman is requesting that Carter give him leave to serve a series of discovery requests on the House committee before any further decisions on handling the remaining emails are made.

Eastman seeks at least two more weeks to outline legal arguments related to his attorney-client privilege claims as well as additional time for both sides in the case to prepare briefs on the issues, which, if granted, could delay resolution of the evidentiary controversy until mid-summer at the earliest, according to Politico.

The House panel has long been expected to hold a series of public hearings later this year to present its findings to date, but with the status of Eastman’s emails still up in the air, whether things will be able to proceed on schedule is something that remains to be seen.

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