Judge Begins Review of Emails Ex-Trump Attorney Claims Are Shielded John Eastman (Susan Walsh/AP)
By Nicole Wells | Friday, 13 May 2022 12:25 PM
A federal judge began reviewing hundreds of emails that former Trump attorney John Eastman claims are shielded from the Jan. 6 House committee by attorney-client privilege.
According to Politico, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter said he had begun combing through the emails to determine if attorney-client privilege applies, as Eastman claims.
In a March decision, Carter stated that Eastman and former President Donald Trump had probably conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, describing Trump’s strategy as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”
The judge’s ruling helped the Jan. 6 committee obtain Eastman’s emails that were sent and received between Jan. 4 and Jan. 7, 2021. However, the committee has continued to seek Eastman’s emails from Election Day 2020 through President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Politico reports there are 601 documents that the committee alleges show inappropriate activities committed by Eastman and Trump.
“Evidence may include engagement letters, retainer agreements, or other writings,” Carter reportedly wrote. “The evidence shall confirm the timing and scope of each attorney relationship and each agent relationship, including specific named lawsuits if applicable. If there is no written documentation, the Court will accept a sworn statement from an attorney, client, or agent in each relationship attesting that written documentation does not exist and specifying the timing and scope of the relationship.”
Eastman must also produce for the court extensive records of the attorney-client relationships related to the emails he’s trying to shield.
Carter has already compelled Trump’s former lawyer to divulge details about his attorney-client relationship with the former president.
According to Politico, Eastman in February handed over a Dec. 6, 2020, letter that he said signaled the beginning of his formal representation of Trump, but the House committee had questions about the document because it was unsigned.
Carter is demanding Eastman produce new details by next week, including a 40-page brief outlining why the secrecy of his records must be maintained.
The House committee is set to reply by May 26, with Eastman’s reply due on May 31.