Trump lawyer asserts attorney-client privilege over plans to replace Pence with Grassley on Jan. 6

Trump lawyer asserts attorney-client privilege over plans to replace Pence with Grassley on Jan. 6
Attorney John C. Eastman in 2013, Wikimedia Commons

Attorney John Eastman — who is accused of assisting Donald Trump in his alleged scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — on Wednesday “sidestepped a question” about whether members of the former president’s team discussed having Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) fill in for Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021 and preside over the Electoral College certification, Politico reports.

Eastman dodged the question as he testified during his own disbarment trial in California. According to Politico, “Eastman said discussions on that topic were protected by attorney-client privilege. When pressed about which client of his he was referring to, Eastman replied: ‘President Trump.’”

Eastman is one of 19 defendants charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a sprawling racketeering case that alleges a conspiracy to interfere in the 2020 election in Georgia. Eastman pleaded “not guilty” to the charges on Tuesday.

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In a Dec. 23, 2020 memo labeled “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL,” Eastman “hinted” to Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn “that he thought Grassley might play a role on Jan. 6.”

“In the message, Eastman told Epshteyn that he hoped members of Congress would avoid taking any actions that might ‘constrain Pence (or Grassley)’ from asserting the power to block Biden’s election,” Politico reports.

According to the report, California state bar attorney Duncan Carling “asked Eastman whether the email suggested there had been discussions about Grassley filling in for Pence.” The bar attorney “moved on to another topic” after the Trump-aligned lawyer “indicated the matter was privileged.”

As Politico reports, Grassley on Jan. 5, 2021 said he didn’t expect Pence to preside over the Senate on Jan. 6.

READ MORE:'He's in for quite the ride': John Eastman surrenders at Atlanta jail while facing possible disbarment

“I will be presiding over the Senate,” Grassley told reporters before Pence’s staff rushed “to correct the record,” Politico reports. Grassley’s claim “eventually [resulted] in a statement from Grassley’s office indicating the senator had been ‘misinterpreted’ and was merely saying he might fill in for Pence during some portions of the proceedings that day.”

Read the full report at Politico.

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