It’s time to Break It Down!
As tempting as it was to make today’s post a 4/20 blog, I “Just said no!” The 2020 Presidential Election was 523 days ago. In less than two weeks, it will have been a year and a half. Still, an attorney for the previous president, a man who endeavored to negate the incumbent’s defeat through a variety of legal maneuvers and assorted wrangling, continues the fight, in his own way.
As CNN.com reported yesterday, John Eastman, a far-right lawyer for the then-President who wanted to block his electoral loss in 2020, is still withholding about 3,200 documents from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, according to a new court filing this week.
In earlier developments, the court ordered Attorney Eastman to release 101 documents, which he had tried, unsuccessfully, to claim were confidential legal communications related to the former president. These documents were emails from January 4 through January 7, 2021.
Since that ruling, Mr. Eastman has continued to parse almost 100,000 pages of emails, also sought by the House Select Committee. These emails are from other dates around the election. Meanwhile he is currently arguing that thousands of documents, comprising about 36,000 pages, which are being sought by the House Select Committee, in its effort to investigate the January 6 insurrection, should remain confidential. The House Select Committee made a new filing this week.
David Carter, a Federal Judge in Santa Ana, California, is weighing whether Eastman can keep those pages secret. Carter is the same Judge who ruled tot force Eastman to release the 101 documents. That decision was pivotal for the Select Committee and represented a setback for Eastman.
Eastman’s lawsuit is also a, not so subtle, reminder that the Select Committee continues to be tied up in court on multiple fronts. As they fight for their subpoenas to be executed and adhered to, the clock is set to become as much a factor as uncooperative witnesses with a clear mission to obstruct the Select Committee’s objective of getting to the bottom of/determining the root causes of the January 6 hostilities.
The 101 emails the Select Committee received two weeks ago capture extensive discussions among Eastman and others about using court cases as a political argument to block Congress from certifying the vote, according to past proceedings in the court case.
In one email, a draft memo for Rudy Giuliani, that was obtained by the committee, the judge decided it was potentially being used to plan a crime. The memo recommended that then-Vice President Mike Pence reject some states’ electors during the January 6 congressional meeting.
About that email, Judge Carter wrote, “This may have been the first time members of the President’s team transformed a legal interpretation of the Electoral Count Act into a day-by-day plan of action.
“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that the President corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”
As a result of determining the other emails he ordered released, were not about litigation, Judge Carter ruled they could not be protected as the work of an attorney. His reasoning was a startling acknowledgment by a federal court that the President’s interest in overturning the election could be considered criminal.
The House committee does not have the wherewithal to prosecute 45 or his allies, but the panel has considered formally asking the Justice Department to investigate. In the case, the House made the bold move of arguing the President was trying to obstruct Congress and defraud the government by blocking his loss of the election and discussing it with Eastman, an argument with which Judge Carter agreed.
In addition, the state of California’s attorney regulators are reviewing Eastman’s legal ethics related to the election, though neither the former president, nor Eastman have been charged with any crime. Yet.
Judge Carter wrote, “If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”
Eastman did not appeal Carter’s ruling on the 101 documents. “Attorney Still Caping For 45; Withholding Over 3,000 Emails!”
I’m done; holla back!
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