John Eastman Says He Will Plead Fifth in Response to Jan. 6 Subpoena - Rolling Stone
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John Eastman, Who Worked to Overturn the Election, Whines About Jan. 6 Committee Not Upholding Precedent

The former Trump lawyer who wrote a memo instructing Pence to stop the 2020 election certification says he will plead the Fifth Amendment

BOULDER, CO - APRIL 29: John Eastman, the University of Colorado Boulders visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy, speaks about his plans to sue the university at a news conference outside of CU Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021. CU relieved Eastman of his public duties after he spoke at President Donald Trump's rally preceding the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)BOULDER, CO - APRIL 29: John Eastman, the University of Colorado Boulders visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy, speaks about his plans to sue the university at a news conference outside of CU Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021. CU relieved Eastman of his public duties after he spoke at President Donald Trump's rally preceding the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

John Eastman, the University of Colorado Boulders visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy, speaks about his plans to sue the university at a news conference outside of CU Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post /Getty Images

John Eastman, who pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election, intends to invoke his Fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, while at the same time claiming that he did nothing illegal. Politico reported the news on Friday.

Eastman is one of several anti-democracy activists who were issued subpoenas in November by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He would be the second to plead the Fifth, along with former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark.

“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,'” Eastman’s lawyer wrote in a Dec. 1 letter to Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). “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.”

Eastman also took issue with “the lack of a ranking minority member” on the committee, with his lawyer writing that “House Rules and longstanding precedent require bipartisanship in the appointment of committees, both standing and select.”

There are only two Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) — Jan. 6 committee, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) back in July withdrew all five of his picks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected two of his recommendations, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) — probably because each had voted to overturn the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Eastman also decried the committee taking testimony in “secret proceedings,” which are really just standard closed-door depositions that occur on Capitol Hill regularly.

Eastman’s complaints thus ring hollow, especially in light of the disgraceful — and unprecedented — acts he planned out for Jan. 6. If his memos were adhered to, then Pence would have unilaterally tossed out “invalid” electoral votes from seven states, and recognized alternate, pro-Trump electors, in effect re-electing the president.

In This Article: January 6th, John Eastman

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