John Eastman, one of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers, has given 8,000 emails to the House select committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, but is seeking to withhold another 11,000 he says contain “privileged material,” according to a Sunday court filing.
The filling is a response to a subpoena issued by the committee last month.
“The purpose of privilege logs is to enable the other parties to assess the claim. Rule 26 is not a vehicle by which the opposing party can get an early ‘peek’ at some of the privileged materials,” Eastman’s lawyers said in the filing, according to The Washington Examiner, which first reported the story. Rule 26 pertains to privilege log requirements.
“Plaintiff has provided information sufficient to satisfy Rule 26 while at the same time protecting the privilege itself.”
Eastman aided Trump’s attempts to challenge the results of the 2020 election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden. Trump and his allies have claimed the election was stolen, and he was the headliner at a rally on Jan. 6 on the National Mall ahead of the official certification of the vote.
Before the rally even began to break up, some Trump supporters began storming the Capitol, causing a halt to the certification proceedings. The committee is probing whether Trump’s speech or communications between him or his team inspired the rioters — something the former President and his team have strongly denied.
In Sunday’s court filing, Eastman’s lawyers said he has reviewed more that 46,000 of the 94,000 emails he has been ordered by a judge to look at. Of those, 27,000 were “mass emails,” such as spam and newsletters that both parties agreed to exclude from review, the court documents said.
The committee subpoenaed Eastman’s former employer, Chapman University, in January for access to emails on his account there that contained discussions with Trump allies to block the election certification.
Eastman filed a lawsuit seeking to block the move, and on Jan. 26, U.S. District Court Judge James Carter ordered him to review the emails to see if privileges justified withholding them. The judge will decide which emails will be withheld.
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