John Eastman, a key figure behind former President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election results, has agreed to turn over 10,000 pages of records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Mr. Eastman said in a court filing Friday, that he decided to lift previous claims of privilege on the documents due in part to a March ruling in which a federal judge declared that Mr. Eastman likely illegally conspired with Mr. Trump to overturn the 2020 election.
The documents are part of nearly 37,000 pages Mr. Eastman has attempted to withhold from the committee after the House panel subpoenaed his former employer Chapman University for the release of his emails sent between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021.
Mr. Eastman sued to block the release of the documents in January, claiming attorney-client privilege but said Friday that he would lift his claim on nearly one-third of the documents after further review and in light of a March by U.S. District Court Judge David Carter in which he declared that Messrs. Eastman and Trump “more likely than not” criminally conspired to overturn the election.
Mr. Carter had previously ordered Mr. Eastman to review each document individually and promptly hand over each document for which his claim of privilege does not apply to the committee and to provide an itemized “privilege log” describing the contents of the withheld documents.
“In preparing the consolidated privilege log, [Mr. Eastman] has identified documents for which the claim of privilege could be withdrawn in light of this Court’s March 28 ruling and other factors,” Friday’s filing reads.
Mr. Eastman’s attorneys said he “perseveres in his full objection to the March 28 order,” despite agreeing to turn over the additional documents.
In the filing, Mr. Eastman’s lawyers said the House committee said they will “evaluate the remaining privilege” claims in light of the latest release and propose the next steps by early May.
The committee has pegged Mr. Eastman, who lawmakers allege attempted to convince Vice President Mike Pence that he could block the election certification process on Jan. 6, 2021, as a key witness in its nearly year-long probe.
Mr. Pence ultimately rejected calls to challenge the election and certified the results.
Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, has recently touted a series of public hearings beginning in June in which he said the panel would begin to unpack its findings.