The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol has obtained eight emails from late 2020 that a judge determined show Donald Trump and his lawyers planning to defraud courts and obstruct the congressional vote on the presidency.
A new court filing from Trump’s then-attorney John Eastman disclosed that the House said it had accessed the emails on Friday.
The House probe has been fighting for the records for months, and a federal judge cleared the way for the committee to receive them in recent weeks, calling them possible evidence of the planning of crimes on Trump’s behalf.
Eastman had tried several last-ditch attempts to hold off the committee. The panel declined to comment to CNN.
The emails that the committee finally has accessed include four communications between Trump attorneys that appear to indicate they knew details they submitted to courts to challenge the election were false, and four emails that reveal them discussing filing lawsuits as a way to hold off congressional certification of Trump’s electoral loss, Judge David O. Carter previously revealed.
One of the emails describes concern the lawyers had about submitting a declaration signed by Trump himself in a lawsuit challenging the election, which said the election fraud allegations it presented to the court were true, the judge’s previous opinion revealed. The Trump-signed statement was sent to court, even though the lawyers knew the allegations within weren’t sound, according to the court record.
Eastman is now asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for an order telling the House to return or destroy the eight emails.
“In order to comply fully with the district court’s production order, counsel for Dr. Eastman provided to the Select Committee at 2:04 pm PDT [Friday] a link to a drop box folder containing the remaining eight documents that were the subject of the Motion to Stay that was at the time (and is still) pending before the Ninth Circuit. In the email transmitting that link, counsel for Dr. Eastman requested that the documents not be accessed until the Ninth Circuit had had a chance to rule on the Motion for Stay pending appeal,” Eastman’s team told the appeals court on Sunday.
The committee has repeatedly argued that a core tenet of Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 election results was to file frivolous lawsuits intended to delay certification of the results in key swing states.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.