Eastman to produce 10,000 pages of Trump-related emails as wider legal battle looms

In Friday’s court filing, Eastman’s attorneys said the select committee now wanted more time to consider how to handle the remaining 27,000 pages of filings that remain in dispute. Carter has asked Eastman to produce a log of all emails that remain disputed, but Eastman is now asking Carter for a brief reprieve while the select committee reviews the new documents and determines how to proceed.

The committee’s legal fight to obtain Eastman’s records — all originally housed by his former employer, Chapman University — has been a top priority for the panel, which is fending off dozens of lawsuits filed by witnesses in the Trump’s conduct in the aftermath of the election.

The panel used the Eastman lawsuit, as well as litigation against former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, to reveal large swaths of the evidence it obtained showing Trump ignored the overwhelming legal advice he had. been defeated. Their evidence also shows that Trump sat on January 6, 2021 as a mob of his supporters ransacked the Capitol, waiting for hours and continuing to pressure his allies to block the victory of current President Joe Biden as even as he watched the violence unfold on television.

Earlier this year, the committee subpoenaed Chapman University for all Eastman emails sent between November 3, 2020 and January 20, 2021, totaling more than 90,000 pages. Eastman sued the committee and Chapman in January to stop the school from sharing his emails. Carter then ordered Eastman to examine them all and identify those he considered privileged.

In March, Carter issued a blockbuster decision declaring that Trump and Eastman “more likely than not” had committed a criminal conspiracy to obstruct the transition of power from Trump to Biden – and he ordered Eastman to produce a subset email key to the select committee, totaling a few hundred pages.

But the remaining dispute over Eastman’s emails is much broader and could take weeks to resolve.

Eastman is now asking Carter to allow him to demand more information from the select committee and from Chapman before making a decision on the remaining 27,000 pages. He argues that Carter’s earlier decision ignored evidence that many Trump aides had convinced him that voter fraud had taken place and that Trump genuinely believed in it. He cited former acting attorney general Jeff Rosen’s testimony referring to how some of Trump’s advisers pushed the voter fraud charges even as the Justice Department crushed them.

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

“A fair resolution of this case requires that all of this evidence be submitted to the Court for review, they continued. “Dr. Eastman therefore seeks permission to serve a reasonable number of admission requests, requests for documents and interrogations on the defendants of Congress.

Eastman is asking Carter at least two weeks to prepare legal arguments to uphold his attorney-client privilege claims, with several more weeks for him and the select committee to submit subsequent legal briefs. This schedule could push the resolution of the fight back to June or July.

Both Carter and the select committee have argued that Trump’s alleged belief in false theories of voter fraud exceeds the bounds of credibility. While some aides sought to convince him that fraud had taken place, Trump’s Justice Department, White House lawyers and campaign aides had pressured him for weeks to accept defeat. Trump then turned to an increasingly fringe group of outside lawyers to support his theories, some of whom offered extreme measures like seizing voting machines or pressuring the then vice president, Mike Pence, to single-handedly overturn the election.

Trump’s continuation of those efforts helped fuel supporters’ fury over the election results and prompted many to descend on Washington on Jan. 6, when Trump called on them to “stop the stealing.” Many rioters who raped the Capitol that day cited Trump’s repeated efforts to stoke mistrust of the election results as the reason they marched on Congress.

The committee is preparing to hold at least eight public hearings in June outlining its evidence and findings so far, but the panel continues to be inundated with new information – prolonging its efforts to complete the investigation. Eastman’s influx of 10,000 pages — and the prospect of tens of thousands more — could fuel additional investigative leads for the select committee.

Eastman spent the final days before Jan. 6 pressuring Pence and his lawyers to accept a fringe theory that Pence might simply refuse to count Biden’s electoral votes in states Trump claimed were in dispute. He urged Pence to simply suspend the Jan. 6 session and call on GOP-controlled state legislatures to consider nullifying Biden voters, a move that could have sparked an unprecedented national crisis.

Pence and his team rejected the idea that he had such legal authority and warned that Eastman was urging them to violate the Electoral Count Act, the 1887 law that governed the counting of electoral votes during the majority of the country’s history.

Calvin W. Soper