WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Former Trump legal adviser John Eastman sought a presidential pardon days after the January 6 Capitol attack, the Jan. 6 committee revealed.
- Eastman sent an email to Rudy Giuliani, asking to be included in the presidential pardon list.
- Eastman is a key figure in pushing a plan to overturn the 2020 election.
John Eastman, the lawyer advising former President Trump on a plan to overturn the 2020 election, sought a pardon in the days after last year’s attack on the Capitol, the House Jan. 6 committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot revealed on Thursday.
“I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” Eastman said in an email to Rudy Giuliani that was quoted during the select committee’s third public hearing on Thursday.
Trump’s legal adviser received much of the panel’s spotlight during the hearing, which included testimony from White House officials and aides to former Vice President Mike Pence.
Eastman sought to provide the legal justification for pressuring Pence into obstructing Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election results, despite privately acknowledging that such a plan would be rejected by the courts.
Eric Herschmann, a Trump White House lawyer, said in recorded testimony shown Thursday that Eastman called him the day after the Capitol attack to talk about some sort of legal issue related to an election challenge in Georgia.
Herschmann said he told Eastman, “I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition.”
“Now I’m going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life: Get a great f—ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it.”
According to the select committee, Eastman sent the pardon request to Giuliani just days later.
A lawyer representing Eastman did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
A federal judge has ordered Eastman to hand over troves of documents to the select committee after the lawyer sued to challenge a congressional subpoena.
The judge, David O. Carter, sided with the committee in March, ruling that Eastman and Trump likely engaged in a criminal effort to overturn the election — a finding that helped undermine the lawyer’s claim of attorney-client privilege.
“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” Carter wrote at the time. “Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”
Source: The Hill