‘Crime-Fraud Exception’: Judge Orders Coup Memo Author Eastman to Hand Over More Emails to J6 Committee – Rights History

‘Crime-Fraud Exception’: Judge Orders Coup Memo Author Eastman to Hand Over More Emails to J6 Committee

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered far-right attorney John Eastman, the author of the infamous “coup memo”  who has repeatedly been described as a “disgraced” former conservative university law professor, to hand over more emails to the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Citing the “crime fraud exception,” U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California David O. Carter ordered Eastman to give the Committee the emails. The quantity is unknown but as CNN reports “the two sides were still arguing over 562 additional documents from Eastman’s Chapman University email account.”

Among the emails Judge Carter ordered handed over to the Committee are “communications with attorneys working for former President Donald Trump about election litigation that the judge said was aimed at delaying the certification.”

“Eastman must also hand over portions of materials related to his proposal for Vice President Mike Pence to disrupt certification of the 2020 election on January 6, 2021,” CNN adds.

As the ACLU has stated, “no one … can exploit the attorney-client privilege to engage in crime or fraud.”

“The attorney-client privilege has always included a ‘crime-fraud exception,’ which provides that if you are using the attorney-client relationship to perpetrate a crime, there is no privilege.”

Eastman continues to serve as the chairman of the far right anti-LGBTQ organization National Organization For Marriage (NOM).

In May, citing a Politico report, Media Matters explained that “John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.”

Above the Law founder David Lat, a well-respected conservative attorney, profiled Eastman in his Substack newsletter, noting that Eastman once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He then describes Eastman’s “Trump-driven descent into madness.”

“Eastman began by representing Trump in Texas’s (doomed) attempt to get the Supreme Court to intervene in the election. When that didn’t work, Eastman urged Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results, arguing that Pence had such power as president of the Senate, overseeing the Electoral College count.”

“Finally, when that failed—with his old boss, Judge Luttig, calling him out on Twitter—Eastman spoke the very next day at the January 6 “rally” in Washington. In his rambling remarks, he alleged without evidence that “secret folders” hidden inside voting machines were used to cast pro-Biden votes on behalf of registered voters who never cast their ballots.”


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