Trump lawyer Eastman takes Fifth Amendment in the face of a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee

Trump lawyer Eastman takes Fifth Amendment in the face of a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee
Frontpage news and politics

Attorney John C. Eastman, who wrote a memo outlining a scheme to help former President Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election results, is among the Trump allies who has been subpoenaed to testify before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6 insurrection. But Eastman, Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports, is refusing to testify, and he explained his decision in a letter given to the committee.

In the letter, which was dated December 1 and addressed to Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Eastman’s attorney, Charles Burnham wrote, “Dr. Eastman hereby asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself in response to your subpoena.”

The Fifth Amendment protects the constitutional right not to be forced to incriminate oneself. While it is commonly invoked in criminal trials, it is far less common for it to be invoked in congressional investigations of the president and his aides. And Eastman isn't the first in this case to invoke the Fifth — former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark has likewise expressed his intent to do so.

Burnham went on to say, “Members of this very Committee have openly spoken of making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice and described the Committee’s work in terms of determining ‘guilt or innocence.’ Dr. Eastman has a more than reasonable fear that any statements he makes pursuant to this subpoena will be used in an attempt to mount a criminal investigation against him.”

READ: Michigan prosecutor charges parents of school shooting suspect — says they brushed off disturbing warnings

Eastman’s refusal to testify is drawing plenty of reactions on social media. Attorney Max Kennerly observed:

Luke Zaleski, legal affairs editor at Conde Nast, tweeted:

Here are some more reactions posted on Twitter:

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