John Eastman, University of Colorado Boulders Visiting Scholar on Conservative Thought and Politics, speaks about his intention to sue the university during a press conference outside CU Boulder on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
Andy Cross | Denver Post | Getty Images
Lawyer who pushed to overturn then-president’s 2020 election loss donald trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by refusing to answer questions during a grand jury appearance in Georgia on Wednesday, his attorneys said.
John Eastman also invoked attorney-client privilege protections by refusing to answer at least some of the questions put to him before the grand jury, which was convened as part of a criminal investigation on the possibility of unlawful interference in Contest for the presidential election in Georgiahis lawyers said.
Eastman is is part of a group of Trump allies who have been subpoenaed by this panel, which is hearing testimony in Atlanta. A second ally, Former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giulianiwas named as a target in this investigation and recently testified before the same grand jury.
Eastman wrote a series of memos after the 2020 election calling out the then vice president Mike Pence to effectively defeat the president Joe Biden‘s wins by refusing to certify the Electoral College results.
“During his appearance before the Fulton County Special Grand Jury, we advised our client John Eastman to assert attorney-client privilege and the constitutional right to remain silent where appropriate,” the attorneys said. d’Eastman, Charles Burnham and Harvey Silverglate, in a statement.
“Out of respect for grand jury secrecy, we will not disclose the substance of any questions or testimony. We wish to thank the grand jurors for their services,” the attorneys said.
The statement also lambasted Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for the investigation itself.
“By all indications, the district attorney’s office has embarked on an unprecedented path of criminalizing controversial or disadvantaged legal theories, perhaps in hopes that the federal government will follow its lead,” the attorneys said. .
“The criminalization of unpopular legal theories goes against all American traditions and would have ended the careers of John Adams, Ruth Ginsburg, Thurgood Marshall and many other now famous American lawyers,” the statement read. Adams was the second president of the United States, while Ginsburg and Marshall were Supreme Court justices who helped set new legal precedents with their work during the civil rights movement.
“We ask all interested observers of all political persuasions to join us in speaking out against this troubling development,” Burnham and Silverglate wrote.
Eastman revealed last month that his cell phone was seized by federal agents who arrested him in New Mexico and forced him to unlock it.
The seizure was made as part of an investigation by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General.
The IG office is investigating the role of the Justice Department and its components in the “preparation and response” to the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol by Trump supporters, according to the site. Desktop web. That riot came as a joint session of Congress was called to certify Biden’s victory, with Pence presiding over the proceedings.
A former Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, had electronic devices seized from his Virginia home the same day Eastman’s phone was seized.
Clark also backed Trump’s efforts to nullify the election.
Trump considered installing Clark as attorney general in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, but scrapped the idea after a group of senior justice officials said he would step down in protest if it did. was happening.