Former Trump attorney John Eastman keeps low profile in NM - Albuquerque Journal

Former Trump attorney John Eastman keeps low profile in NM

John Eastman, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, appears during a video deposition to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the June 16 hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee/Associated Press)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – John Eastman, a lawyer who advised former President Donald Trump in his failed bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, is a registered New Mexico voter with a residence in one of the state’s most liberal enclaves.

State voting records show Eastman is a registered Republican who has cast ballots in every local and statewide New Mexico election since November 2018 – including casting an Election Day ballot in this year’s June 7 primary election.

His residence in Santa Fe is in the capital city’s north side – not far from the state Governor’s Mansion.

An individual who answered the intercom at Eastman’s gated house on Thursday afternoon said Eastman was not available.

Attorneys for Eastman also did not respond to Journal questions about his New Mexico residence and his role in Trump’s post-election attempt to remain president.

Eastman has been a central figure in the U.S. House Select Committee’s investigation into the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of last year, which has revealed several New Mexico connections.

On Thursday, records released by the committee showed former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had sent to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen a list of voting-related complaints compiled by New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce. In the email, Meadows told Rosen to forward the allegations to his “team” for review.

The allegations include unsubstantiated claims of voting irregularities, such as multiple alleged cases of dead people voting.

As for Eastman, his signed declaration to the congressional panel investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, was executed in New Mexico on Jan. 22 of this year, according to a copy of the document.

Among other things, Eastman drafted a legal memo that sought to build a case for ex-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results when electoral votes were to be certified on Jan. 6, 2021.

Pence ultimately rebuffed the pressure and certified results that showed Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Eastman, who was a law professor in California and previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, later sought a preemptive presidential pardon for his post-election activities from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, but reportedly did not receive one.

“I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works,” Eastman wrote in an email that was presented as evidence by the Jan. 6 committee.

While he has been under national scrutiny, Eastman appears to have kept a low political profile in New Mexico.

Alex Curtas, a spokesman for Secretary of State Maggie Toulosue Oliver, said the office has not had any communication with him.

A spokesman for New Mexico’s Republican Party declined to comment Thursday as to whether Eastman has played any official or unofficial role in the state GOP in recent years.

The state GOP spokesman also wouldn’t comment on whether Eastman was involved in New Mexico’s five designated Republican presidential electors convening in December 2020 to cast votes for Trump, despite that Biden won New Mexico and its five electoral votes by a comfortable margin of 11 percentage points – or more than 99,000 votes.

New Mexico was one of seven states won by Biden in which designated GOP presidential electors convened to cast votes for Trump after the 2020 election.

Unlike New Mexico, however, the six other states in which Republican electors convened to sign election certificates were all hotly-contested “swing” states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Prosecutors in several of those states, including New Mexico, have referred to federal law enforcement allegations that Republicans submitted a false document intended to deliver more electoral votes to Trump.

In addition, Thomas Lane, who worked on behalf of the Trump campaign in Arizona and New Mexico, was one of several people who were hit with grand jury subpoenas this week as part of a U.S. Justice Department probe into the Trump team’s plan to overturn the 2020 election results, according to reports from the Washington Post and New York Times.

Under New Mexico law, it is a fourth-degree felony for designated electors to cast their ballot for anyone other than the presidential candidate who received the majority of the votes cast in the state.

However, the five New Mexico GOP electors added a caveat to their 2020 certification that they were only casting votes in the event that legal challenges changed the outcome of the presidential election.

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