The House Jan. 6 select committee has obtained eight emails that former President Donald Trump attorney John Eastman had asked a federal appeals court to block the panel from accessing.
In a Sunday court filing, Eastman stated he provided a link for access to the emails to the Jan. 6 committee last week but requested the committee hold off on reviewing the documents while his appeal played out.
According to Eastman, the panel instead declined his request and downloaded the documents anyway. He is now seeking intervention from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the court to mandate the committee return or destroy the documents.
"While a stay barring the production is no longer available, an order directing the return or destruction of the documents and barring further use of them pending the appeal remains a viable remedy," Eastman's attorney Anthony Caso wrote.
Such a court order — one co-equal branch of government pitted against another — would be practically impossible to enforce. A Washington, D.C., district court judge was not inclined to intervene when Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich requested financial records that JPMorgan provided to the panel in December be recovered, according to Politico.
Chief attorney for the committee, Douglas Letter, stressed in an email to Eastman's lawyers there was no restriction on the emails after U.S. District Court Judge David Carter rejected Eastman's request for reconsideration.
"The select committee did so because the district court had ordered that these documents be disclosed to the select committee by 5 p.m. ET [Friday], and the district court had summarily denied your request for reconsideration or a stay (which had not been filed by you until the very eve of the disclosure deadline)," Letter wrote in the email, which Eastman attached to the appeals court filing. "There was thus no court order prohibiting the select committee from examining the documents that the district court had ordered your client to produce. Any controversy about those particular documents is thus now moot."
According to Politico, Carter characterized the eight emails in dispute as evidence of a likely crime by Eastman and Trump and ordered they be included in a set of documents Eastman was required to produce for the panel.
The ruling marks the latest defeat in a series of setbacks for Eastman by the judge.
Carter's ruling in March — that Trump and Eastman were likely involved in a criminal conspiracy — has become central to the committee's public hearings on evidence.
Included in the newly unveiled documents is an email Carter claimed showed Trump signed legal documents certifying voter fraud data he knew was false, according to Politico.
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