STATEMENT ON MARCH 28 RULING IN EASTMAN V. THOMPSON ET AL.

As an attorney, Dr. John Eastman has the responsibility to protect the confidences of his clients to the fullest extent of the law.  Dr. Eastman’s case against the January 6 committee seeks to fulfill this responsibility.  It is not an attempt to “hide” documents or “obstruct” congressional investigations, as the January 6th committee falsely claims.

The district court’s March 28 order rightly rejected the January 6th committee’s attempts to invade attorney client privilege by arguing that no attorney client relationship existed between Dr. Eastman and President Trump, that Dr. Eastman somehow waived privilege by using a law school email, and that the January 6th’s committee’s claimed “compelling need” for the materials overrode attorney client privilege.  In doing so, the district court correctly relied on a 1957 Supreme Court case which protected “the right of citizens to carry on their affairs free from unnecessary governmental interferences” in the face of the “excessively broad charter” of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

To be sure, the district court disagreed with many of Dr. Eastman’s privilege assertions on the grounds that the materials were not sufficiently tied to potential litigation under current precedent.  As stated above, it was Dr. Eastman’s duty to raise these claims on behalf of his clients.  He intends to comply with the court’s order.

The district court has ordered precisely one document (which Dr. Eastman did not author) produced pursuant to the so-called crime/fraud exception.  The court’s crime/fraud findings were not subject to the presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or any of the constitutional protections normally applicable to criminal proceedings.  As the district judge put it “this is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit.”

Moreover, the January 6th committee admitted it was in possession of evidence inconsistent with the crime/fraud finding but refused to produce it.  The court’s findings were therefore not based on the complete picture, but instead relied on evidence cherry picked by the committee, supplemented by news articles.

Dr. Eastman has an unblemished record as an attorney and respectfully disagrees with the judge’s findings.

Dr. Eastman asks all persons interested in this case to join him in calling upon the January 6tth committee to release all the evidence so the courts and the public can reach accurate conclusions about the matters involved.

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