In the weeks ahead of the January 6 joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election, lawyer John Eastman concocted a memo on behalf of then-President Donald Trump detailing how then-Vice President Mike Pence could install Trump for another term in the White House.
Citing phony slates of pro-Trump "electors" in multiple states that sent forged documents to the National Archives (which evidence suggests were orchestrated by the Trump campaign), Eastman argued that Pence could declare dueling slates of electors in swing states Trump lost. These electors would be thrown out, nullifying millions of votes, and new electors would be appointed by the states' Republican-controlled legislatures, who would've been expected to appoint pro-Trump ones.
Pence came to the same conclusion as the vast majority of reputable legal scholars, writing that the Vice President does not have the power to determine the validity of certified electoral votes, only to count them.
Now, in a bombshell filing with a U.S. District Court in California, the House Select Committee investigating the origins of the January 6 insurrection say Trump may have committed multiple crimes in this effort, and that his correspondence with Eastman should no longer be protected by attorney-client privilege, citing the crime-fraud exception. This exception applies if the attorney's client was in the process of committing a crime and if the client made clear to the attorney the intent to further the crime.
A potentially damning email from Eastman to Pence's lawyer proves that Eastman knew the actions he was pursuing on behalf of his client were a violation of law, the committee argues.
Arguing that Congress had violated the Electoral Count Act by debating the votes of Arizona for more than two hours (due to a deadly failed insurrection and direct threats to their lives sparked by Trump's election fantasies), Eastman claimed that the precedent was already set and urged Pence to violate the law, writing:
“So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation [of the Electoral Count Act] and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here.”
Which led the committee to conclude:
"Plaintiff knew what he was proposing would violate the law, but he nonetheless urged the Vice President to take those actions."
Social media users reached the same conclusion.
Some were flabbergasted that a lawyer was reckless enough to document criminal intent in an email.
Social media users are imploring Attorney General Merrick Garland to take action.