Politico obtained over 50 pages of email correspondence sent one of the attorneys seeking to help Donald Trump stay in power despite losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
"Attorney John Eastman urged Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to retabulate the state's popular vote — and throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots — in order to show Donald Trump with a lead, according to newly unearthed emails sent in December 2020, as Trump pressured GOP lawmakers to subvert his defeat," Politico reported late Tuesday evening. "This recalculation, he posited in an exchange with one GOP state lawmaker, 'would help provide some cover' for Republicans to replace Joe Biden's electors from the state with a slate of pro-Trump electors, part of a last-ditch bid to overturn the election results."
Politico obtained the emails from the University of Colorado, where Eastman was working. The Jan. 6 Select Committee Investigating the Attack on the U.S. Capitol has also reportedly obtained the emails, via the Colorado Ethics Institute.
"The Jan. 6 select committee is fighting a legal battle with Eastman in federal court in California to obtain hundreds of emails Eastman sent and received via his other previous employer, Chapman University. The panel has already won several rounds in this case, obtaining key emails Eastman sent from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7, 2021, but the panel is still fighting to receive thousands of pages sent in the run-up to Jan. 6," Politico reported. "Although Eastman would later go on to suggest that then-Vice President Mike Pence could single-handedly refuse to count Biden's electors, his exchanges with Diamond in early December suggest he hadn't fully embraced the theory that has since come to define his effort to help Trump cling to power."
The strategy has been widely called the "coup memo."
"In litigation between Eastman and the select committee in California, a federal judge ruled in March that Eastman and Trump likely criminally conspired to overturn the election by pushing this concept in the absence of legal support, particularly after no state legislature went along with the plan to override the election results and appoint Trump electors," Politico reported. "U.S. District Court Judge David Carter described the effort as 'a coup in search of a legal theory.'"
Read the full report.