Eastman ultimately argued that Pence could subpoena uncertified voters to declare the election contested. He could then send elections to the House of Representatives or delay Joe Biden’s victory certification long enough to convince state lawmakers to act.
The select committee used Thursday’s 57-page filing to urge a federal judge to grant the panel access to an additional 600 emails that Eastman is withholding from investigators. Eastman claims the documents the committee wants are protected by attorney-client privilege or attorney work product, but the select committee argued Thursday that Eastman has not supported that claim.
In the filing, written by House counsel Doug Letter, the select committee pointed to emails between Eastman and prominent figures in Trump’s orbit, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, Boris Epshteyn and others, as they strategized to keep Trump in the loop. The charge.
The committee contends that Eastman’s effort to present his work simply as a good-faith attempt to apply constitutional principles falls apart on closer examination. Eastman, they noted, worked exclusively with Republican-controlled state legislatures in states where Biden won the popular vote.
“[T]theirs was a results-driven campaign to overturn the result of a democratic election,” the panel argued.
According to the select committee filing, Eastman exchanged emails with Giuliani and other pro-Trump lawyers about Pence’s plan as early as Dec. 7, 2020. But Eastman’s Jan. 6 theory seemed to hit Trump’s radar even before it’s. The select committee showed that Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign attorney, sent a document Eastman wrote, outlining the power of state legislatures to appoint presidential electors, to Trump aide Molly Michael on June 28. November 2020.
At the heart of Eastman’s effort was a plan for pro-Trump activists to pose as “surrogate electors” in states that Trump lost but continued to contest on false claims of fraud.
Those false electors would gather on December 14, 2020, the day that bona fide members of the Electoral College were supposed to gather in state capitals across the country, and cast “mourning” votes. Then, under Eastman’s plan, when Congress convenes on Jan. 6, 2021, to count electoral votes, in a session led by Pence, the vice president would single out “mourning” voters and declare Trump the winner or postpone the election. count.
However, in a Dec. 19 email cited by the select committee, Eastman told a colleague that alternates “will be dead on arrival in Congress”… “unless those constituents get certification from their state legislators.” However, on December 23, Eastman began circulating a version of his now-famous memo, in which he claimed that seven states had designated “dueling” electors.
“[T]The fact that we have multiple lists of voters demonstrates the uncertainty of both. That should be enough,” Eastman said in an email that day with Epshteyn, a Trump campaign official.
The select committee also used his filing to dismiss Eastman’s claim of fraud in the 2020 election, which they say he continues to do to this day. The committee pointed to a Jan. 2, 2021, email with Trump ally and conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell asking Eastman for evidence of fraud she could share with “members of Congress and senators, who are now clamoring for facts and data that is illegal. votes.”
“What is missing is similar information in other states, of the kind that we gathered in GA. That is what we are asking for. Does it exist elsewhere? Mitchell asked.
“No idea. I didn’t even get a chance to look at the website link I sent, but I was told that everything is assembled there. Isn’t that the case?” Eastman responded.
In another exchange, the select committee cites an email to Giuliani, Bannon and others from an attorney who told them that a claim about dead people who voted in Georgia was likely wrong. Rather, the data reflected that only 134 people were recorded dead before their ballots were received, and more than half of them had died within three days of their votes being counted.
“I think this justifies the unfortunate timing, many sent in their ballots before they passed, rather than nefarious activity,” the attorney said. “I’m bringing this up just so everyone is aware of what the data is really saying.”
The select committee bases most of its argument for access to Eastman’s emails on the claim that the attorney failed to establish an attorney-client relationship with nearly everyone involved in the effort, including Trump. Although the judge in the case, US District Court Judge David Carter, had asked Eastman for evidence of any formal legal relationship to the figures with whom he exchanged emails, Eastman did not provide any contemporaneous documentation or evidence. , argued the select committee.
That alone, they said, should invalidate their claims of privilege.
Carter has indicated that he is strongly in favor of the urgency of the committee’s investigation. He has been reviewing Eastman’s emails in recent weeks to prepare to decide whether Eastman’s privilege claims are legitimate. But he has indicated that he is likely to rule on the matter fairly quickly, a pace that fits with the select committee’s plan to start holding public hearings in early June.