Judge orders Trump lawyer to give documents to Jan. 6 committee

Judge orders Trump lawyer to give documents to Jan. 6 committee

A federal judge ordered John Eastman, the Trump lawyer who wrote memos arguing that then-Pence could overturn the 2020 election, to turn over about 170 documents to the House committee that was investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

In a filing Tuesday, Eastman has to give the committee 159 other documents by Wednesday afternoon that include communications from former President Donald Trump about state electors in swing states, and the size of his campaign rallies, according to U.S. District Judge David Carter.

The judge pointed out an email from December 20, 2020 that included evidence of a potential crime.

The judge wrote that this email considers whether to bring a case that would decide the interpretation of the Electoral Count Act and potentially risk a court finding that the Act binds Vice President Pence. Because the attorney concluded that a negative court ruling would hurt the January 6 strategy, he encouraged the legal team to avoid the courts. The plan was changed on January 6th by this email. Eastman told the committee that it would send 10 other documents to the committee that relate to three meetings held in the first two weeks of December 2020 by an unnamed group that backed Trump.

Four documents relate to a meeting on December 8, 2020: two emails are the group's high-profile leader inviting Dr. Eastman to speak at the meeting, and two contain the meeting's agenda, the judge said.

According to the agenda of the meeting, Carter said that Eastman discussed state legislative actions that could reverse the media-called election for Joe Biden. He said that another person gave an update on state legislature actions regarding electoral votes. Five other documents included the agenda for a meeting the next day, on December 9, 2020, which focused on a GROUND GAME following the Nov 4 election results, in which a sitting member of Congress discussed a plan to challenge the electors in the House of Representatives. A state elector analyzed The Constitutional Impacts of the Electoral College Meeting and What Comes Next was the topic of a similar meeting held on December 16, 2020. The presentations furthered a critical goal of the January 6 plan: to have contested states certify alternate slates of electors for President Trump, Carter wrote. The week before these meetings, Dr. Eastman sent memos to high-level White House staff saying that the January 6 plan required legislators to decide the manner of choosing electors, even to the point of adopting a slate of electors themselves. Eastman's lawyer did not immediately turn down a request for comment.

Eastman tried to shield communications and information from the committee, arguing that such documents are protected by privilege. Carter has been skeptical of Eastman's privilege claims and ordered him to turn over thousands of pages of documents to the committee.

Since it was formed last year, the committee has interviewed more than a thousand witnesses, issued nearly 100 subpoenas and obtained about 140,000 pages of documents related to its investigation.