May 26, 2022

House Jan. 6 panel abandons quest to obtain thousands of documents from Trump-linked attorney

An attorney who assisted former President Donald Trump during his final weeks in the Oval Office received good news Friday, in that the House select committee probing the January 6, 2021 unrest at the U.S. Capitol has abandoned its effort to obtain nearly 14,000 pages of documents he previously claimed were subject to protective privilege, as the Washington Examiner reports.

The committee’s decision comes days after Eastman agreed to provide roughly 10,000 pages of records to the panel amid a larger battle over roughly 37,000 total pages of documentation related to his work for Trump in the waning days of his administration and amid discussions about contesting the validity of the 2020 election.

In relenting with regard to that smaller batch of document’s Eastman’s attorneys sought additional time to deliberate on how the remaining records should be handled, and now the committee has determined that it would withdraw outstanding objections to privilege claims on 13,929 pages of documents and would hold “in abeyance” questions about another 3,236.

As such, there are 2,945 pages of material that remain subject to legal wrangling in advance of the House committee’s anticipated shift toward holding public hearings later in the summer to provide the public with an update on its findings to date.

In the ongoing legal battle over thousands of records pertaining to Eastman’s work on behalf of Trump, lawyers for the Jan. 6 committee contended that the nearly 3,000 still under dispute are “appropriate for the Court’s in camera review and consideration at this time,” and that there should be an “expedited briefing schedule” put in place so that a conclusion can be promptly reached.

An attorney for Eastman responded to the committee’s request on Saturday, saying that he is uncertain as to whether his client will further narrow his privilege claim, pending further review of the panel’s filing.

“Without knowing which documents remain at issue, [Eastman] is unable to offer a position on the continuing need for discovery, an appropriate briefing schedule, or whether further narrowing of the disputed privilege issues may be possible.”

The attorney further asserted that “[t]he congressional defendants’ claimed ‘need’ to ‘present the conclusions of its investigation to the public through hearings, scheduled to begin June 2022’ is not cognizable by this Court,” and should play no role in any determination affecting Eastman’s rights.

With the Democrat-led committee aiming to hold no fewer than eight public hearings in the coming months, it appears that the left will do everything in its power to reanimate the incendiary, hyperbolic insurrection narrative launched last year, perhaps in the misguided hope that it will help mitigate the Republican wave predicted to sweep the country in the November midterms.

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