Where Things Stand: Eastman’s Probably A Target

This is your TPM evening briefing.
BOULDER, CO - APRIL 29: John Eastman, the University of Colorado Boulders visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy, speaks about his plans to sue the university at a news conference outside of CU Boulder o... BOULDER, CO - APRIL 29: John Eastman, the University of Colorado Boulders visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy, speaks about his plans to sue the university at a news conference outside of CU Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021. CU relieved Eastman of his public duties after he spoke at President Donald Trump's rally preceding the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS

In other Trump investigation-adjacent news today, election steal scheming attorney John Eastman’s lawyers think that he is “probably a target” of the Fulton County probe led by District Attorney Fani Willis, who is looking into Trump team efforts to overturn the election results in her state of Georgia.

Eastman was subpoenaed to testify before the Fulton County grand jury earlier this summer alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and a batch of other Trump Big Lie attorneys — Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and Cleta Mitchell. His scheduled testimony was behind closed doors today and Eastman reportedly was advised by his lawyers to plead the fifth “where appropriate,” the New York Times reported.

While other Trump lawyers, like Rudy Guiliani, have been informed that they are targets of Willis’ probe, one of Eastman’s lawyers told the Times that his client hasn’t been identified as a target officially, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be eventually.

“I think he’s probably a target, but I don’t think he’s a legitimate target,” Eastman’s lawyer Harvey Silverglate told the Times. “I don’t think my client is going to be convicted of anything. … If he is indicted, a motion to dismiss will end the case.”

Eastman, as you know, was the guy behind Trump’s obsession with the idea that his vice president could somehow refuse to certify the results of the 2020 election. Mike Pence, of course, didn’t have the authority to do that and didn’t end up playing along with Trump and Eastman’s coup plot — an allegiance to his constitutional duty that Trump rewarded by nearly getting him killed during the insurrection.

But Willis is interested in a different element of Eastman’s election steal scheming, specifically related to efforts to overturn results in Georgia. In December 2020, Eastman appeared before a state Senate panel and spewed out a bunch of lies about election fraud in the state. He was specifically concerned with underaged individuals registering to vote. He claimed without evidence that 60,000-plus people under the age of 18 were allowed to register to vote in Georgia. The Georgia Secretary of State’s office ultimately found that only four people under 18 had registered and were old enough to vote when they did, the Times noted.

But Eastman used those debunked allegations to further push Trump’s efforts to pressure key officials in the state to not certify the 2020 results. And we all know where things culminated there: with Trump’s infamous call to the secretary of state, urging him to “find” the votes needed to subvert the election. That call is now at the heart of Willis’ probe.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

About That Damning Photo Of Classified Materials At Mar-A-Lago

Luckily, Trump Says He Declassified All Those Classified Documents The FBI Found

The latest from Kaila Philo: Why The Content Of Key Trump Officials’ Missing Texts Matters

Trump Attorney, Former OAN Host Christina Bobb In Spotlight Over Mar-a-Lago Trouble

GOP In Disarray Over Picture Proof Of Classified Docs At Trump’s House

A MUST READ from Josh Kovensky: A New York City Rug Expert Weighs In On Mar-a-Lago’s Flooring

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

The Trump/Mar-a-Lago Story Comes into Focus — Josh Marshall

What We Are Reading

Investigating parents of transgender youth has agency on ‘brink of collapse,’ staff warns — Dallas Morning News

The Humiliating History of the TSA — Darryl Campbell

Trump Lawyer Shrugs Off DOJ’s ‘Mundane’ Probe of ‘Espionage’ and ‘Obstruction’ — Justin Baragona

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: