Eastman Background pre-Trump
John Eastman has a long background in conservative law. He clerked for both Judge Michael Luttig and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the late 1990s, and was a chairman in the Federalist Society.
But Eastman did not begin advising former President Trump until August 2020, when Trump hired Eastman after seeing him on a segment of Fox News. And Eastman did not become a close Trump advisor until December 2020, when he was willing to tell Trump whatever he wanted to hear while other advisors advised against his demands.
It was then that Eastman became a leading voice claiming election fraud.
The Eastman Memo
Mr. Eastman wrote the memo on the legal procedures that Trump hoped would overturn the 2020 election in his favor. The memo laid out steps that Vice President Mike Pence could take to keep Mr. Trump in power, including delaying the Jan. 6 certification of President Biden’s victory. Both Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans have likened the memo to a blueprint for a coup.
Eastman also pressed the Justice Department to find ways to reverse Trump’s loss.
Creator: Susan Walsh | Credit: AP
After January 6th
Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann told the January 6th Committee that the day after the insurrection, Eastman raised the issue of disputed votes in Georgia and how they might use that to overturn the election.
Hershmann told Eastman: "I don't want to hear any other f-ing words coming out of your mouth other than 'orderly transition.' Repeat those words to me.”
Hershmann then told Eastman to get a "great f****** criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it."
John Eastman served as Donald Trump's personal lawyer in the period leading up to the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol. He played a central role in the numerous failed legal challenges to the 2020 election outcome, and was one of the main advocates for the theory that Vice President Pence could overturn the election results. He also called in state legislatures to submit fraudulent election results in Congress.
Eastman plead the 5th and refused to answer questions from the January 6th Committee under the justification that doing so could result in self-incrimination. The January 6th Committee referred Eastman for criminal charges to the Justice Department. Eastman also faces charges and is being tried by his state Bar Association.
Eastman Sought A Pardon
Eastman emailed Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani seeking a preemptive presidential pardon for his role in masterminding the push to overturn the 2020 election.
"I've decided I should be on the pardon list if that's still in the works," Eastman wrote, according to the email presented as evidence by the Jan. 6 committee.
He did not receive one.
Eastman was questioned by the House committee but plead the Fifth Amendment during his entire testimony—about 100 times.