According to a new court filing, conservative lawyer John Eastman, the architect of a strategic plan to overrule the 2020 election, actually dealt with President Donald Trump and obtained handwritten notes from him as the two men worked to keep Trump in power. The filing highlighted Eastman’s role in devising strategies to counter Joe Biden’s victory, as well as Trump’s direct interest in the effort to keep the presidential race in his hands.
It also revealed how members of Trump’s administration and White House aides were engaged in the scheme. The filing comes as the House intelligence committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 prepares for public hearings in June on the attempt to overturn the election, and as more information about Eastman’s role in advising Pennsylvania state officials to reject votes cast in support of Biden emerges.
Eastman did not reveal the details of his connectivity with Donald Trump
Eastman did not reveal the details of his connectivity with the President and others in the White House and Trump campaign, but he did describe them in broad terms in a filing in his lawsuit filed against the House committee in California. He is fighting the panel’s subpoena for hundreds of documents, claiming that several of them are shielded by attorney-client privilege.
Eastman argued in his filing on Thursday that attorney-client privilege applied to some of his email messages with the White House and Trump campaign because the people he communicated with were acting as “conduits” for or “agents” of Trump. He said he communicated with Trump primarily through six intermediaries, 3 of whom started working for the Trump team and three of whom joined forces for Trump during his presidency.
However, Eastman stated that he spoke with Trump directly, and that he received two “handwritten notes from former President Trump regarding details that he thought could be useful for the anticipated litigation,” according to the filing. “While Dr. Eastman could (and did) talk directly with former President Trump at times,” Eastman’s lawyers, Anthony T. Caso and Charles Burnham, wrote, “many of his connections with the president were necessary through these agents.”
What do these handwritten notes from Trump contain?
The two handwritten notes from Trump; correspondence with “potential clients,” including seven state legislators seeking advice on how to challenge their states’ election results; a document discussing “various scenarios for Jan. 6”; and another document discussing the “need to continue pursuing voter suppression litigation in the occasion of Trump loss for the benefit of the nation” are among the documents Eastman is attempting to keep from being released.
In March, a judge decided that Eastman and Trump had most likely committed felonies in their efforts to overturn the election, which include obstructing Congress’s work and conspiring to defraud the US. The judge concluded that Trump and Eastman’s actions amounted to “a coup in search of a legal theory.” More than 100 of Eastman’s emails were ordered to be released by the judge at the time, David O. Carter of the United States District Court for the District District of California; Eastman started to turn them over to the Committee while fighting the release of others.
What did Eastman’s Lawyer Write in the Filing?
A draft memo written for Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, that suggested that Vice President Mike Pence reject electoral votes from debatable states in his role overseeing the credential by Congress of the Electoral College results on Jan. 6 was among the documents Eastman turned over.
Eastman’s lawyers wrote in their filing that their client took issue with Carter’s summary that he had undermined democracy, claiming that their client truly believed the election was rigged. The filing cited conservative media figures’ work as evidence of widespread election fraud, including Dinesh D’Souza’s new film “2000 Mules,” of the kind that professional journalists have described as misleading.
More about the incident
“It always seemed clear to Dr Eastman as well as his client at the time, there was sufficient illegal practice and fraud in the election to have altered the election’s outcome,” Eastman’s lawyers wrote, “then far from ‘undermining’ democracy, Dr Eastman’s behaviour and advice should be seen for what they were — a valid effort to prevent a stolen election. “Perhaps Dr. Eastman was incorrect. Even if he had been, being incorrect about facts is not, and never has been a crime. Dr Eastman’s situation remains that his legal theories, controversial as they were, were not unlawful,” they added. Eastman claimed in the filing that he started to work for Trump 2 months before the 2020 presidential election at the invitation of Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who “promoted false claims of election fraud to members of Congress” and took part in a call in which Trump tried to pressure Georgia’s secretary of state to “‘find’ enough votes to reverse his loss there,” according to the Jan. 6 committee.
Eastman,”presented his strategy to Vice President Pence, concentrating on either rejecting electoral votes or delaying the count
The effort “kicked into high gear” on November 7 — four days after the election — when Eastman managed to meet with Trump’s campaign team in Philadelphia to help with the preparation of an election challenge, according to the filing.
Carter noted that Trump facilitated two meetings involving Eastman in the days leading up to Jan. 6 that were “explicitly connected to persuading Vice President Pence to interrupt the joint session of Congress” when deciding in March that Trump and Eastman had “more likely than not” broken the law.
On January 4, Trump and Eastman welcomed Pence and two of his top aides, Greg Jacob and Marc Short, to the Oval Office for their first meeting. Eastman “presented his strategy to Vice President Pence, concentrating on either rejecting electoral votes or delaying the count,” according to Carter. According to Carter, that meeting was followed by another on Jan. 5, during which Eastman attempted to persuade Jacob to join the scheme once more.
About Mike Pence
Michael Richard Pence is an American political figure, broadcaster, and defence attorney who served as the United States’ 48th vice president between 2017 and 2021. He was the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, and he is a Republican.
From 2001 to 2013, Pence served in the United States House of Representatives. Pence is the younger brother of U.S. Representative Greg Pence, and was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana.
Before entering private practice, he graduated from Hanover College and received his law degree from University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He had become a conservative tv and radio talk show host from 1994 to 1999 after losing bids for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990.
He was appointed to the U.s. House Of representatives in 2000, representing Indiana’s 2nd district from 2001 to 2003 and Indiana’s 6th district from 2003 to 2013. From 2005 to 2007, he was the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and from 2009 to 2011, he was the chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest place in the House Republican leadership. Pence identified himself as a “principled conservative” and Tea Party supporter, stating that he is “a Christian, a conservative, as well as a Republican, in that order.”