Trump Loyalist John Eastman Withholds 11,000 Emails From Jan. 6 Committee
John Eastman, one of former President Donald Trump‘s closest allies, said that he reviewed around 46,000 pages of his documents related to Trump, which is around half the existing number of pages, and presented 8,000 of them to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to the Monday morning court filing. The committee is seeking documents that give insight into Eastman’s relationship with the former President and Trump’s actions and thoughts in the final weeks of his administration.
Eastman was one of the central figures in planning Trump’s legal strategy in Trump’s effort to prod then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results. When he instead confirmed President Joe Biden‘s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol ensued.
Eastman is seeking attorney-client privilege to block the committee from obtaining 11,000 emails. The other 27,000 were not turned in because they were considered standard.
The pages were subpoenaed from Chapman University, where Eastman used to work, by the committee last month. U.S. District Court Judge James Carter denied Eastman’s attempt to block the subpoena and ordered Eastman to go through 1,500 pages per day. If a document was eligible to be protected under privilege claims, Carter requested that Eastman keep a log to record which documents they were and why they should be withheld.
House Counsel Doug Letter questioned the logs’ lack of specificities. He complained that the vague notes do not allow the committee opportunity to dispute client-attorney privilege.
“The Select Committee’s urgent need for resolution of the privilege issues is heightened by the fact that Plaintiff has broadly claimed privileges over a vast swath of documents—many of which appear to be critical to the Select Committee’s investigation,” Letter wrote in daily court filings.
Eastman will appear in court Monday afternoon to provide an update on his progress.