John Eastman: ‘Coup memo’ lawyer will give Jan 6 committee 10,000 more emails

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John Eastman, the former law professor who authored the now-infamous “coup memo” advising then-vice president Mike Pence to unilaterally reject electoral votes from states won by Joe Biden, has turned over 10,000 emails to the House select committee investigating the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol but is withholding thousands more from the panel.

In documents filed with the California federal judge overseeing a lawsuit he filed to block the panel from subpoenaing documents he deemed privileged, Mr Eastman said he was withdrawing “800 documents totaling over 10,000 pages” which will be provided to the committee.

Yet Mr Eastman has continued to assert attorney-client privilege over an additional 27,000 pages of records from the period leading up to the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814, during which he was advising former president Donald Trump on strategies to install him in office for a second term against the wishes of American voters.

Whether the documents are protected from disclosure to the committee by attorney-client privilege remains an issue to be decided by US District Judge David Carter.

But Judge Carter, an appointee of former president Bill Clinton who has served on the bench since 1998, has already cast a dim view on Mr Eastman’s attempt to use attorney-client privilege to shield his communications with Mr Trump’s advisers from the panel.

In a 28 March opinion rejecting Mr Eastman’s privilege claim over a number of documents, Judge Carter ruled that Mr Eastman and Mr Trump “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history” and called that campaign “a coup in search of a legal theory”.

The veteran jurist found that it was “more likely than not” that Mr Trump and Mr Eastman had violated federal laws in their push to keep Mr Trump in office, and ordered a key document disclosed under the “crime-fraud” exception to the attorney-client privilege.