Former Trump legal adviser John Eastman once again is trying to assert attorney-client privilege in an effort to shield more than 3,200 documents from the Jan. 6 Select Committee, a court filing on Monday revealed.
In a status report filed as part of his ongoing legal dispute with the committee, Eastman argued that about 36,000 pages worth of documents should remain confidential. The filing notes that the committee objected to “every claim” of attorney-client privilege and work-product protection that Eastman asserted over the documents.
Judge David Carter of the U.S. District Court, who is overseeing the legal battle Eastman’s waging against the committee, can continue to review whether Eastman’s new claims of attorney-client privilege hold up or whether the documents should be turned over to the panel.
The court filing notes that Eastman asserted “various privileges” over 3,907 documents totaling 40,656 pages involving clients or potential clients. Additionally, it notes that the committee did not object to Eastman’s claims over 3,006 pages, but objected to every claim of attorney-client privilege and work-product protection that Eastman asserted with respect to his representation of Trump and/or the former president’s campaign committee.
Last month, Carter ruled that Eastman must turn over 101 of his work emails exchanged between January 4, 2021, and January 7, 2021. Eastman, a former law professor at Chapman University, used his Chapman email account to engage in his various Big Lie efforts to subvert the 2020 election results. In his decision, the federal judge found that Eastman and then-President Trump “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history.”
“Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower — it was a coup in search of a legal theory,” Carter wrote in his decision last month.
“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” the judge also wrote.
Carter’s ruling last month followed his order that Eastman file a brief to back up his attorney-client privilege claims, plus evidence of “all attorney-client and agent relationships” he had asserted in his privilege log.
Eastman captured the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s attention following revelations that the conservative attorney drew up a legally dubious plan to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to object to Joe Biden’s electoral victory and replace some of Biden’s electors with a fake slate of electors.