John Eastman seeks to keep 3,200 January 6 committee documents, citing solicitor-client privilege

John Eastman seeks to keep 3,200 January 6 committee documents, citing solicitor-client privilege

Washington— Conservative attorney John Eastman is seeking to protect more than 3,200 documents totaling 36,106 pages from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, he revealed in a new report on Monday. court filing, asserting attorney-client privilege over records relating to his work for former President Donald Trump and his presidential campaign.

Eastman told U.S. District Judge David Carter in the status report filed in his ongoing legal dispute with the House panel that investigators oppose “any claim” of attorney-client privilege and protective of the product of the work that he affirmed over the pages. Carter will now review the disputed documents and decide whether they should be turned over to the select committee.

Politico first flagged the records Eastman seeks to hide from House investigators.

Eastman, a former law professor at Chapman University, has been the driving force behind the legal strategy to justify Trump’s attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election to President Biden. The effort has centered on a plan by Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, to throw out electoral votes from key battleground states won by Mr. Biden. Pence ultimately rejected the plan, arguing that he lacked the authority to implement it.

Eastman used his Chapman email account to communicate about efforts to overturn election results, and the House Select Committee issued a school subpoena in January for presidential race-related records. or the aggression of January 6.

Pursuit of John Eastman
John Eastman speaks during a press conference outside the University of Colorado at Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images


But Eastman sought to keep the committee’s emails, arguing they contained information that would be protected by attorney-client privilege and solicitor-client privilege. He asked a federal district court to restrain the committee from executing its subpoena and prevent Chapman from complying, a request that ultimately launched an extensive review of the records requested by the House committee.

Carter ruled in March that Eastman had to turn over 101 emails exchanged between Jan. 4, 2021 and Jan. 7, 2021, a narrower slice of records implying a key period for House investigators. The judge also found it “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct” congressional proceedings on January 6.

“Dr. Eastman and President Trump have launched a campaign to overturn a Democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history,” he wrote in his 44-page decision. “Their campaign was not limited to the ivory tower – it was a coup in search of legal theory.”

Eastman’s latest filing revealing the more than 36,000 pages of emails he seeks to withhold is part of the broader review of his Chapman emails. More than 94,000 pages met the conditions of the select committee under its subpoena, although nearly 30,000 were removed because they were mass mailings, according to the filing.

Eastman produced 25,319 pages of documents and another 231 pages in response to the committee’s objections.

According to the court filing, Eastman asserted “various privileges” on 40,656 pages involving clients or potential clients, and the panel made no objection to his claims on 3,006 pages. Of the remaining 37,650 pages at issue, Carter reviewed 336 pages and asked Eastman, in his March decision, to turn over the 101 documents totaling 315 pages.

The House Select Committee opposed Eastman’s claims of privilege on the remaining 3,247 documents totaling 36,106 pages.

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