A lawyer for John Eastman
told a judge on Monday that his client had been working for Trump when he told state legislators on January 2 they needed to “fix this, this egregious conduct” that would put Joe Biden in the White House, when he was in the Willard Hotel with other Trump contacts, and when he met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on January 3 about blocking the congressional certification of the 2020 vote.
The admissions from Eastman’s lawyer, Charles Burnham, are the clearest statements yet on how much Eastman was doing on Trump’s behalf — rather than on his own initiative — in the days leading up to January 6, 2021.
“That work was done pursuant to representation of the president,” Burnham said, when asked specifically about Eastman briefing hundreds of state legislators.
The judge then asked Eastman’s team who his client was during each of the moments the House sought information about in their letter to Eastman announcing his subpoena. Eastman had been working for his client, Trump, his lawyer said in court to nearly every question.
Eastman previously refused to provide information
to the House when it subpoenaed him directly for testimony and documents.
Chapman University will give Eastman’s legal team access to his nearly 19,000 emails by midday on Tuesday, so they can sort through and identify which emails they believe should stay confidential as legal advice between Eastman and Trump, who was Eastman’s client as he shopped a legal theory to overturn the 2020 election on January 6.
A third party — potentially the judge — will then decide whether the emails can stay secret.
Judge David Carter indicated at a court hearing on Monday that he wanted the email reviews to happen fast, having the parties work over the weekend and telling Eastman to hand over emails to the House as they are sorted through.
It’s unclear how long the attorney-client privilege review ultimately will take.
Still, the plan is a notable step forward for the House, as more than a dozen January 6-related witnesses challenge the select committee’s authority in court.