John Eastman, an attorney for the Trump campaign who helped craft its strategy to buck the certification of the 2020 election results, has appealed to a federal appeals court after he was ordered to turn over emails to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.
Eastman on Thursday asked California-based federal Judge David Carter to stay a ruling forcing him to turn over several emails to the committee after he ruled that they were not protected by attorney-client privilege.
Carter ruled earlier this month the communications were not protected since they likely were exchanged in furtherance of a crime, igniting the crime-fraud exception.
Among those emails was a note from Eastman pointing out that former President Trump was told that a December suit filed in Georgia claiming that unregistered voters and dead people voted in the election there may not have accurate numbers — relaying that concern before the campaign escalated the matter to a federal court.
“Although the President signed a verification for [the state court filing] back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate. For him to sign a new verification with that knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate,” Eastman said.
Carter ordered the email released to the committee.
“President Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed the complaint with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise changing them,” Carter wrote. “President Trump, moreover, signed a verification swearing under oath that the incorporated, inaccurate numbers ‘are true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief.’”
“The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public. The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
Eastman earlier this week asked Carter to grant a stay of his ruling, suggesting additional emails would exonerate Trump on that front.
“The affidavit and referenced documents clearly show that no false information was knowingly submitted by the President or his attorneys, and that the complaint was not filed for an improper purpose,” Eastman’s attorney wrote in the filing.
Carter swiftly denied that motion Friday, sending the matter to the appeals court.
Eastman crafted two memos for the Trump campaign detailing methods to resist certifying President Biden’s victory, including one advocating for then-Vice President Mike Pence to buck his ceremonial duties to certify the election results.
Carter previously found in March that it was more likely than not that Trump committed crimes as part of his plot to stay in power.