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    Trumpland Superlawyer John Eastman Calls Supreme Court Cowards, Gets Remedial Lesson In Document Prep, Will Never Shut Up

    Trumpland Superlawyer John Eastman Calls Supreme Court Cowards, Gets Remedial Lesson In Document Prep, Will Never Shut Up

    (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    US District Judge David Carter has already called attorney John Eastman’s advice to Donald Trump “a coup in search of a legal theory.” And once the court has ruled that you and your client likely committed crimes together, a little judicial side eye is hardly the worst thing that’s going to happen. But this unsubtle bollocking in Judge Carter’s latest order is pretty funny all the same.
    In a minute order advising Eastman to “review and revise for consistency any privilege claims” with respect to the messages he sent from his Chapman University email account plotting to overturn the 2020 election, the court explained its instructions as if to a five-year-old:
    For example, Dr. Eastman should remove any duplicate documents; non-substantive documents, like logos or email signatures; and publicly available documents, such as articles and tweets. If Dr. Eastman still asserts claims over such documents, he should address in the consolidated privilege log why those documents are not disclosable under the Court’s prior Order.
    You might think that a distinguished practitioner like “Dr.” Eastman would not need to be reminded that logos and email signatures are outside of privilege. But you would be wrong, because he did just that with the first batch of emails he’s trying to shield from the January 6 Select Committee, most of which the court forced him to disclose after in camera review.
    From the court’s March 28 order:
    To begin, the Court excludes ten of the 111 documents because they are entirely nonsubstantive. Seven of these documents are only images of logos attached to email signatures, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. One document is a blank page and two are blank emails. These ten documents do not contain any information protected by the work product doctrine and the Court ORDERS that they must be disclosed.
    Apparently Judge Carter does not want to wade through a bunch of signature lines that Eastman claims are work product with the next tranche of emails, since that “privileged” pile isn’t a piddly 111 documents – it’s 3,907 documents totaling 40,656 pages, according to the status report the attorney filed on Monday.
    Eastman infamously advised Trump that Vice President Pence had the unilateral authority to reject electors at will. Last month Judge Carter ruled that it was more likely than not that Eastman and Trump had “attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by launching a pressure campaign to convince Vice President Pence to disrupt the Joint Session on January 6,” so the crime-fraud exception to privilege applied to at least one of the emails subpoenaed by the Committee.
    In addition, he found that work product did not apply to many of the contested emails, since they could not reasonably be construed to have been written in anticipation of future litigation.
    “Litigation was never Dr. Eastman’s motivation for planning the events of January 6, perhaps because, as he conceded, his legal theories would be rejected ‘9-0’ by the Supreme Court,” Judge Carter wrote. “The Court’s review of the twenty-two documents shows they are consistent with the memo’s plan to proceed without judicial involvement.”
    And this video recently surfaced by independent journalist Lauren Windsor of Eastman shooting his mouth off probably won’t help.
    Wherein John Eastman blames Black Lives Matter for the Supreme Court’s being “cowardly” towards overturning the 2020 election
    – Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) April 20, 2022

    Asked about the Texas election lawsuit, which was premised on the theory that Texas had standing to sue Pennsylvania if it didn’t like the way those filthy Keystoners run elections, Eastman blamed Black Lives Matter. Obviously.
    “The level of corruption is stunning. At the Supreme Court, I think it was cowardice,” he railed. “I mean, you had my former boss, Clarence Thomas, and Sam Alito, and Neil Gorsuch and that was it. Where were the others, to take up what was a blatant fraud?”
    Not to intrude with, like, objective facts here. But it was only Justices Alito and Thomas who would have entertained Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s bullshit performative lawsuit, and only because they believe that the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction in interstate disputes is non-discretionary. Hence Justice Thomas’s dissent stating that, “I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint, would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.”
    But go on!
    Texas, I thought, did a very credible job making the case for why they had standing to sue under existing precedent. There was a report that at the Court conference Chief Justice Roberts was yelling at the others [who were saying] “We have to take this. It’s just Bush v. Gore.”
    And he screamed at them, saying “It’s not Bush v. Gore. They’re burning down our cities, right? And you don’t think what happened the summer before the election had any tie to that cowardice? It was designed deliberately to make them cowards. And they succeeded.
    It just makes too much sense! Racial justice protests didn’t break out across the country because of persistent police violence against Black people – it was really a coded message to Chief Justice Roberts that he should reject cockamamie legal challenges fifteen months later.
    Or, this guy Eastman is a raging loon. Honestly, it’s probably that one.
    Anyway, good luck arguing that your constitutional wankings were preparing your client for litigation when you yourself have admitted in public that there’s was no chance on earth that litigation would succeed.
    Eastman v. Thompson [Docket via Court Listener]
    Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.