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Tag: john eastman

Eastman Documents Expose Role Of Clarence Thomas In Coup Plot

Coup plotter John Eastman turned over letters to the House Select Committee on January 6, but asked a judge to stop anyone from reading them. Eastman was too late in getting in his ridiculous request, and now, as the first few of those letters start to leak out, we’re beginning to see why he asked.

Politico reports that the select committee received copies of eight emails between Eastman and Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro. These letters were reportedly among the documents turned over to the select committee after U.S. District Court Judge David Carter determined they were relevant to determining whether Eastman, Donald Trump, and others had committed a crime in seeking to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election.

What’s in this first batch boils down to two conspirators seeking to add another member to their team: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Eastman and Chesebro apparently recognized early that, since they had no real legal standing for their case, what they needed to do was pull in the one man who could help them. In particular, what they wanted was a ruling from Thomas that would force the Georgia legislature to acquiesce to the scheme of appointing false electors.

Chesebro: “We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit justice opinion saying Georgia is in legitimate doubt...”

This was, of course, a lie. Chesebro knew it, Eastman knew it, Trump knew it. They knew that time was closing in, they had no evidence of fraud, and every case they had taken to court had been a loser. Which is what made this attempt to pull in Thomas their next move.

Chesebro: [Thomas is] “… our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress.”

As the justice tagged with handling issues arising in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastman and Chesebro knew that if they had a route to get something on the justice’s desk—exactly as Trump did recently, when Thomas helped bring his “special master” case in front of the full Supreme Court.

But what Chesebro and Eastman were after was more than just having Thomas punt the case along to his colleagues. They needed some language they could use to get state legislators to go along with Trump’s scheme to put false electors forward on Jan. 6. They made it absolutely clear that the purpose of this entire effort was to block the final, formal reporting of the electoral results.

Chesebro: "[I]f we can just get this case pending before the Supreme Court by Jan. 5, ideally with something positive written by a judge or justice, hopefully Thomas, I think it’s our best shot at holding up the count of a state in Congress.”

And, of course, they had reasons to be hopeful. Not only was Thomas extremely friendly to Trump’s position, but Eastman had also been in direct contact with Thomas’s wife.

A series of emails were exchanged between Virginia “Ginni” Thomas and Eastman aimed at promoting the January 6 scheme. In addition, Chesebro and Eastman exchanged notes in which they discussed what they called a “heated fight” in the Supreme Court over supporting Trump’s election fraud conspiracy. Eastman argued that they needed to “help” the members of the Court to “do their duty.”

The letters between Eastman and Chesebro make it clear they thought there was a good chance they could get what they needed from Thomas, and that they believed other members of the Court could be convinced to help Trump.

But the letters also seem to show that Eastman knew what they were doing was illegal, and that if they failed in their coup attempt, there would be a cost.

Eastman: “I have no doubt that an aggressive DA or US Atty someplace will go after both the President and his lawyers once all the dust settles on this.”

And in what may be a close competitor to Four Seasons Landscaping for the funniest incident in this whole tragicomic effort to destroy the nation, there was a moment when the fate of Trump’s whole plot seemed to turn on finding one irreplaceable man. Not a Supreme Court justice, but someone even more valuable.

As the attorneys pilled up their lawsuit and frantically called Trump aboard Air Force One to work out the details, they ran into a roadblock that could scotch the entire plan. All they needed was Trump’s signature … and a verification seal from a notary public. Only it was New Year's Day, and Trump’s notary was off until the following Monday.

Trump attorney: “There’s no one they can call to come to the White House that’s a notary? I don’t know how we file without it. Presidential trip to a UPS store?”

Then there is a conversation about whether a notary can notarize using a Zoom call. Because that’s just how surreal all this really became. The fate of the nation possibly hanging on whether a notary public could provide a virtual stamp to a document intended to kick off a coup over a webcam.

That a group of people sat around the White House, drafting statements they knew to be false, with the absolute justification of overturning the outcome of the election and overthrowing the government of the United States, and then spent the next hours fretting over how to get it notarized seems like a threat to reality itself.

It was eventually notarized by a clerk at the White House. It didn’t generate the statement Eastman and Chesebro were seeking, though none of that stopped them from going forward with the false elector scheme.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Coup Lawyer Surrenders Documents But Implores Select Committee Not To Read Them

Spoiler alert: The committee went right ahead and read them.

Last week, a federal judge ordered former Trump attorney John Eastman to turn over a series of documents in response to a subpoena from the House select committee investigating Jan. 6. Eastman did so, coming in just under the wire on Sunday afternoon. But at the same time, he filed a motion that included a pack of complaints about how a judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had not gotten back to Eastman, despite repeated efforts (in a series of calls documented down to the minute, that came so close together that it’s easy to imagine that judge hitting the “spam” button).

Meanwhile, even as Eastman was pounding on the door of the Ninth Circuit asking for a stay, he was also desperately calling District Court Judge David Carter and begging him to hold off until someone from the appeals court got back to him. Carter refused to give more time. The appeals court didn’t call back. So Eastman reluctantly turned over the documents, but with a twist.

Eastman filed an official supplement complaining that, after he turned in the documents, members of the select committee had the audacity to read them.

From Eastman’s complaint...

In order to comply fully with the district court’s production order, counsel for Dr. Eastman provided to the Select Committee at 2:04 pm PDT a link to a drop box folder containing the remaining eight documents that were the subject of the Motion to Stay that was at the time (and is still) pending before the Ninth Circuit. In the email transmitting that link, counsel for Dr. Eastman requested that the documents not be accessed until the Ninth Circuit had had a chance to rule on the Motion for Stay pending appeal. Instead of honoring that request, counsel for the Select Committee notified Dr. Eastman’s counsel at 6:26 pm PDT and 6:40 pm PDT that the Select Committee had “downloaded and examined” the disputed documents, falsely asserting that there was no motion for stay pending before the Ninth Circuit at the time.

The motion to stay actually didn’t appear on the docket until 6:08 p.m.. The committee notified Eastman that the documents had been examined at 6:26 p.m.. And somehow, Eastman concluded that the documents were read in the 18 minutes after that stay actually appeared on the docket, not in the four hours before it made it there. Oh, and Eastman was four minutes late filing those documents. Nice of him to 'fess up.

Of course, says Eastman, this means that if the appeals court rules in his favor, and it turns out that any of these documents described crimes, he’s now immune from being prosecuted on those crimes because the committee looked at the documents just as they were entirely legally entitled to at the time. This would be another lesson from the John Eastman School of How the Law Does Not Work.

Eastman isn’t just staying busy in court this week. As Politico reported on Friday, the attorney who laid out the plan for how Donald Trump could break the electoral system, isn’t letting his failure in that coup stop him from couping again.

In a speech to GOP poll workers in New Mexico, Eastman encouraged them to file complaints that would provide justification for challenging any Democratic victories in court.

Eastman advised his audience to “politely” and “gingerly,” and even with “a smile” create paper trails, suggesting altogether different end goals. These include giving losing GOP candidates ammunition to argue in court—and to the public—against the integrity of the voting and to pressure local commissions not to certify elections.

To that end, Eastman also told the attendees to a speech on “election integrity” to take down the names of judges who ruled against them or refused to hear these made-up challenges. He also provided instructions on poll watchers and challengers on how to make voting as irritating as possible for those they suspected of being Democratic voters (how they would make that guess is left up to not-much-imagination-required). The attendees were told to challenge people’s signatures, make them restate their birth years, even challenge them when they “didn’t speak loudly enough” so that they had to say their name and other information loudly, in front of everyone present. Eastman encouraged challengers to be confrontational, telling them that anyone who refused to give them anything they asked for was “committing a crime.”

The group that obtained the copy of Eastman’s speech suggested that all this — along with Eastman’s advice on how to put more Republicans on county election commissions — was intended to provide justification for counties refusing to certify election results when Democrats win.

Eastman may not be good at actually dealing with the law in court, but he’s excellent at giving Republicans what they want — instructions on destroying democracy.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Coup Plotters' Love Quadrangle: Ginni And Clarence And John -- And Lindsey!

In a single-page order issued today, Ginni’s husband temporarily stayed a subpoena from an Atlanta grand jury seeking testimony from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham in an ongoing investigation of attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

There is a neat little love quadrangle going on here, folks. The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack ffhas emails between Ginni Thomas and John Eastman, the author of one of Trump’s last attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election. Eastman wrote a memo for Trump outlining how fake slates of electors could be appointed in states Trump lost, including Georgia, and submitted to the Congress at the time electoral votes were to be counted on January 6.

The hope was that Republican Senators and Congressmen would object to the official slates of electors from those states, and that resolving the phony dispute between the fake and real electors would be thrown into the House, where it would be resolved in Trump’s favor, and he would be declared the winner of the election.

It is not known what Ginni and Eastman discussed in their exchange of emails, but Eastman was sufficiently frightened of his own subpoena by the same Georgia grand jury that he invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when he testified. Eastman also invoked attorney-client privilege, the “client” being Donald Trump, before the grand jury. The end result was that he answered no questions from the Georgia grand jury about his involvement in attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election in that state.

The grand jury wants to hear from Senator Graham about his phone calls with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger during the period between Election Day in November and the certification of electoral ballots by the Congress on January 6, 2021. The other person known to have called Raffensberger on the phone during the same time period was Donald Trump, who asked the Georgia secretary of state to help him “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” so he could win the state in the presidential election.

So we’ve got Ginni emailing with Eastman, and we’ve got Eastman meeting with Trump in the Oval Office pitching the scheme for phony slates of electors in the states Trump had lost, and we’ve got Eastman refusing to testify about his involvement in overturning the election results in Georgia, and we’ve got Trump calling Raffensberger and trying to get him to come up with enough votes that he would be declared winner in Georgia.

And we’ve got Lindsey Graham filing lawsuits trying to get his grand jury subpoena quashed, losing in the federal district court in Georgia, losing again when he appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, then filing an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court last Friday, and Ginni’s husband bailing him out of complying with the subpoena today.

We know from her emails that Ginni was involved in trying to overturn election results in Arizona and Wisconsin, and I’m not saying that Lindsey Graham knows anything about Ginni’s involvement in attempting to overturn the results of the election in Georgia, which her friend John Eastman was involved in, and her friend Donald Trump was involved in. But wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what her friend Lindsey has to say about it? And isn’t it curious that her husband leapt at the opportunity to stick his nose into the Georgia investigation?

It may turn out that the full Supreme Court ends up ruling on Graham’s emergency appeal for a stay, but in the meantime, I don’t know, could Ginni’s husband possibly have a conflict of interest here?

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Is Trump Gang Setting Up John Eastman As Fall Guy In Coup Plot?

According to reporting from Rolling Stone, former President Donald Trump and friends are preparing to feed conservative attorney John Eastman to the wolves.

Eastman and his “coup memo” have brought way too much heat on Trump following the House’s Jan. 6 committee hearings, outlining his role in assisting the former president’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and making the legal case for former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the certification of the Electoral College.

One of three primary sources with direct information on the topic told Rolling Stone, “It has been repeatedly communicated to the [former] president that he should not even bring up Johnny Eastman’s name because he is maybe the most radioactive person [involved in this] when it comes to … any so-called criminal exposure.”

Rolling Stone reports that Trump has decided not to defend or even talk about Eastman, has instructed his team not to discuss him, and has said privately that he “hardly” or “barely” knows him. As Trump's social media platform Truth Social shows, as much talking as he does, Eastman’s name has been almost nonexistent.

Before turning to conservative constitutional law, Eastman worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“Johnny does not have many friends in [the upper crust of] Trumpworld left, and most people loyal to the [former] president are fine with him being left out on his own, to deal with whatever consequences he may or may not face,” a source said.

Last Thursday, during the public Congressional hearings, Eric Herschmann, a Trump White House attorney, said that following the insurrection, he told Eastman to “get a great fucking criminal defense lawyer” because “you’re going to need it.” Eastman then infamously emailed Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to say, “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list if that is still in the works.”

As Rolling Stone reports, the idea of Eastman as a patsy has become a common conversation.

Last week, Mark Levin, a Fox News and radio host, said:

“How many lawyers did Trump have? He had several … And John Eastman has turned into the fall guy. … He’s a lawyer, he’s an advocate for the [former] president. Whether you agree with his legal judgment, his legal findings, or not, it’s what lawyers do.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

John Eastman Trying To Conceal Trump’s Direct Role In Coup Plot

New details about the direct role that Donald Trump played in developing a strategy to overturn the 2020 election were revealed in a federal court filing from election coup attorney John Eastman late Thursday.

Eastman is several months into a battle to keep records of his work for Trump in the run-up to January 6 confidential. but in his latest parry to bar access to emails he says should be protected under attorney-client privilege, he has revealed that Trump sent him at least “two hand-written notes” containing information “he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation” challenging election results.

Evidence of Trump’s hand in developing this strategy is not the only thing that Eastman wants U.S. District Judge David Carter to keep away from prying eyes. He also asked the court to protect correspondence with no less than seven state legislators, White House attorneys, and other officials who received his guidance on the appointments of Trump’s so-called “alternate” electors.


Details on those officials and legislators in the filing are limited since Eastman was careful to keep their identities private.

But as first reported by Politico:

“But several of the attorneys filed declarations supporting Eastman’s descriptions of his work for Trump. Those declarations, filed under seal with the court, include attestations from Kurt Olsen, the lead lawyer in a Supreme Court lawsuit that Trump backed to overturn the election results, as well as Bruce Marks, a Pennsylvania lawyer who worked on Trump’s election litigation.”

Olsen was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee in March. His push to change election laws at the Justice Department just ahead of the Capitol attack prompted the demand for his records and testimony. Olsen, in response, countersued the select committee.

Notably, Eastman also mentions in his filing that there are at least “six conduits to or agents of the former president” that he dealt with directly when strategizing the overturn.

Three are individuals who had roles with Trump’s campaign and serve as attorneys and the other three were members of Trump’s “immediate staff and one attorney.”

“While Dr. Eastman could (and did) communicate directly with former President Trump at times, many of his communications with the President were necessarily through these agents,” the filing states.

In another section of the motion, Eastman clarifies further, saying he also “communicated directly with Trump by phone and email through his assistant or attorney agents.”

Even now, Eastman promotes claims and makes insinuations that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump. There is no evidence to support these statements. He was equally adamant in the motion to Judge Carter that the select committee probing the attack is acting unconstitutionally and prejudicially.

Time and again, however, when the committee’s standing has come up in a legal challenge, courts have found otherwise, deeming it a valid and constitutional body acting within the scope of its congressional authority.

“The Select Committee has accused Dr. Eastman and his client of acting to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress with corrupt intent, based on its claim that Dr. Eastman and his client (and others) engaged in the ‘big lie’ about election illegality and fraud. But that claim, that premise, is itself false. One might even say that the assertion of a ‘big lie’ is itself the actual Big Lie,” Eastman maintained in the motion Thursday.

This batch of emails Eastman wants hidden comprise just 600 records. The committee has requested access to 90,000 pages of records housed with Chapman University, Eastman’s former employer.

The committee initially subpoenaed Eastman directly but he refused to comply.

That decision has been a boon for the committee: Judge Carter ruled in March that Trump and Eastman “more likely than not” engaged in a conspiracy meant to stop Congress from engaging in the counting of certified votes, one of the last steps on the path to a transfer of power.

Eastman was previously revealed to be the author of a six-point pressure strategy targeting former Vice President Mike Pence. Eastman advised in the document that Pence had the final say in stopping the certification. In truth, Pence did not, his role, under the constitution, was overwhelmingly perfunctory.

The conservative attorney took a swing at Judge Carter’s ruling from March, and in particular, a section where Carter said the evidence indicated Eastman's conduct was not “driven by preserving the Constitution, but by winning the 2020 election.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Eastman Devised Scheme For GOP Theft Of 2020 Pennsylvania Vote

Former Trump attorney John Eastman colluded with a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania to formulate a pretext to seat Trump electors in a state Joe Biden won by nearly 82,000 votes. Their communications were discovered on his University of Colorado email account. It was a last ditch-bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election, as the new emails obtained by the House Select Committee show.

Eastman devised a sinister idea to label tens of thousands of absentee ballots illegitimate, thus giving then-President Trump the state’s popular vote lead. This method, Eastman proposed, “would help provide some cover,” beneath which Republicans could swap Biden’s electors with sham electors for Trump who would subvert the 2020 elections.

According to the emails, Eastman suggested that Republican officials voice their concerns with mailed-in ballots and, using historical data, “discount each candidate’s totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received,” according to Politico.

“Then, having done that math, you’d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote. That would help provide some cover,” Eastman told Russ Diamond, the aforementioned GOP Pennsylvania state lawmaker, in a December 4, 2020, email. “That would help provide some cover.”

The messages sent to and from Eastman’s “colorado.edu” email address were obtained by the Colorado Ethics Institute via a request citing the state's Open Records law. A Democratic political consultant sent these emails to the House Select Committee on behalf of the institute.

The select committee sued Eastman’s former employer, Chapman University, to obtain 90,000 pages of the ex-Trump lawyer’s emails, but Eastman countersued to prevent Chapman from complying. The House panel won several rounds of that case — with a finding by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter that Eastman and Trump had “more likely than not” participated in criminal activity — and has already obtained crucial emails Eastman sent from January 4 to January 7, 2021. However, the select committee is still in court, asking to get 3,000 more pages of Eastman’s emails before its June-slated public hearings.

Eastman has claimed for months that his post-election work was “grounded in provocative-but-real legal scholarship,” per MSNBC, but the released emails, which underscore the length to which he tried to distort reality to earn Trump undeserved electors, render the attorney’s point moot.

"Here in Pennsylvania, numerous other frustrated colleagues and I are searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament," Eastman told Diamond in another December 4 email. The “predicament” was Biden winning the state by tens of thousands of votes.

Not satisfied with the preponderance of advice he’d given Diamond on the language of his resolution, Eastman even offered to carry out specific line edits on the proposed resolution, the Washington Post reported.

“I would also include after paragraph 3 a specific legislative determination that the slate of electors certified by the governor under the illegally-conducted election are also null and void,” Eastman suggested.

When contacted by 9news for comment, Eastman rejected claims of wrongdoing on his part.

"I wasn't even aware that I had used a [University of] Colorado email, but somebody obviously reached out to me using that email and I just hit reply," said Eastman. "Look, I'm a constitutional expert. The notion that a legislator would reach out to me seeking my input on a key constitutional issue is not a surprise and well within my normal academic duties," Eastman said.

A member of the select committee disagreed. “Eastman wasn’t doing anything that Trump wasn’t doing himself,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told the Washington Post. “They,” he added, referring to Eastman and his cohorts, “were both trying to get officials in the electoral process to substitute a counterfeit for the actual vote totals.”

As the subject of investigations and lawsuits, Eastman turned to his far-right supporters for financial aid for his “Legal Defense Fund” and has raised nearly $180,000 in a crowdfunding drive, where he painted himself a victim of “hard-core leftist activists” and “hyper-partisan” investigators.

Coup Plotter Eastman Claims Privilege Over 37,000 Emails Sought By Select Committee

On Monday, April 18, far-right attorney John C. Eastman — who is infamous for a memo outlining a plan for former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election results — revealed that he has asserted attorney-client privilege over 37,000 pages of e-mails that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on January 6, 2021 has been seeking.

According to Politico’s Kyle Cheney, “The January 6 select committee has objected to ‘every claim’ over those pages, which now sends the gargantuan dispute to U.S. District Court Judge David Carter for a case-by-case review. Eastman revealed the scope of the dispute in a status report to Carter, concluding a three-month review that Carter demanded he undertake. Since January, Eastman has been reviewing 1000 to 1500 pages per day.”

Carter, in a recent ruling, was highly critical of Trump and Eastman’s actions following the 2020 presidential election. The federal judge ruled that they “more likely than not” engaged in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct the joint session of Congress held on January 6, 2021, when now-President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory was certified. And Carter described efforts to overturn the election results as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”

Carter, Cheney notes, “has described the select committee’s work as urgent” but “must now determine how to parse these 37,000 pages” of e-mails “in time for the committee to employ them in its ongoing investigation of Trump’s effort to subvert the transfer of power.”

“The e-mails are all drawn from Chapman University, where Eastman was employed until shortly after January 6,” Cheney explains. “The committee subpoenaed Chapman to obtain the e-mails, but Eastman sued the school and the select committee to slow the process. Carter then ordered the review that Eastman undertook.”

Cheney adds, “The select committee urged Carter to prioritize documents sent from January 4 to January 7, 2021, the key period of the panel’s review. That narrower review resulted in Carter’s bombshell ruling about likely criminality by Trump. But now, Carter must turn to the broader review of Eastman’s e-mails stretching back to November 3, 2020, the date of the presidential election.”

The January 6 select committee, Cheney notes, has “raised doubts about whether Eastman was legitimately acting as Trump’s lawyer prior to January 6.”

“Eastman, under an order from Carter, produced a retainer agreement dated December 6, 2020,” Cheney writes, “but it was unsigned. And it’s not clear when it was effectuated…. Carter also ruled that Eastman did, eventually, become Trump’s attorney, noting that he filed court papers on Trump’s behalf in late December and communicated with top White House aides and other officials while representing himself as Trump’s lawyer.”

Cheney adds, “Of the 90,000 pages of e-mails subject to the select committee subpoena, about 30,000 were immediately ruled out as irrelevant mass e-mails. Eastman made no privilege claims over an additional 25,000 pages of records.”

Time is of the essence for Pelosi’s select committee, as Democrats may lose their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms — and many House Republicans don’t even believe the committee should exist. Pelosi has included two non-MAGA Republicans on the bipartisan committee: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, but the majority of House Republicans are loyal Trumpistas and resent Cheney and Kinzinger deeply for their participation.

Published with permission from Alternet.