- A federal judge ordered pro-Trump attorney John Eastman to turn over multiple documents to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- Those documents include emails allegedly showing efforts by Eastman and former President Donald Trump to disrupt Congress' effort to confirm Trump's 2020 election loss.
- Eight of Eastman's emails were subject to the "crime-fraud exception" to attorney-client privilege, according to the order in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California.
A federal judge ordered pro-Trump attorney John Eastman on Wednesday to turn over multiple documents to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including emails allegedly showing efforts to disrupt Congress' confirmation of former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss.
The 33 documents that must be handed over are either not protected by legal privileges or are exempted from those privileges because they are related to an attempted crime, Judge David Carter wrote.
Eight of Eastman's emails were subject to that "crime-fraud exception," according to the order in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California.
In four of them, Eastman — a key figure leading legal efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's win — and attorneys for Trump suggest that a "primary goal" of a court filing "is to delay or otherwise disrupt" the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional vote to confirm Biden's electoral victory, the judge ruled.
Another four emails "demonstrate an effort by President Trump and his attorneys to press false claims in federal court for the purpose of delaying the January 6 vote," Carter wrote.
The judge noted that Eastman had flagged to Trump's attorneys that their supposed evidence of voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia, was inaccurate. But Trump and his legal team nevertheless went on to file a complaint in federal court "with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise changing them," Carter wrote.
"The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public," Carter wrote. "The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States."
Lawyers for Eastman did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Carter's order. A spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee did not immediately comment.
Eastman, a former law school dean at Chapman University, penned a memo outlining a dubious legal strategy for Vice President Mike Pence to reject Electoral College votes for Biden while presiding over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.
Pence resisted Trump's pressure to undo the election results, stoking the then-president's ire and that of thousands of his supporters, some of whom chanted "hang Mike Pence" as they swarmed the U.S. Capitol.
In Wednesday's ruling, Carter ordered disclosure of portions of a handful of emails related to Eastman's plan for Pence to challenge the 2020 electoral count.
The select committee in January issued a subpoena seeking messages sent from Eastman's Chapman email account between late 2020 and early 2021.
Eastman, who had previously declined to produce documents to the Jan. 6 investigators, promptly asked the Santa Ana federal court to block Chapman from complying with the committee's subpoena for his emails.
Carter ruled in March that Eastman disclose 101 emails to the select committee that were the subject of disputes over legal privileges. In that decision, judge wrote that it was "more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress" on Jan. 6.