Jan. 6 committee: Trump's New Mexico lawyer John Eastman referred for prosecution - Albuquerque Journal

Jan. 6 committee: Trump’s New Mexico lawyer John Eastman referred for prosecution

John Eastman testifies before a U.S. House committee on Capitol Hill in this March 2017 file photo. A committee investigation the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol referred Eastman for criminal prosecution. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe attorney John Eastman, who played a pivotal role in former President Donald Trump’s attempt to remain in power after losing the 2020 presidential election, took center stage during the Jan. 6 committee’s final hearing on Monday.

The committee is urging the Justice Department to prosecute Eastman, along with Trump.

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol said in a presentation that both Trump and Eastman may have obstructed an official proceeding. The committee also said there’s evidence they committed conspiracy to defraud the United States, in addition possibly to other crimes committed in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“We believe that the evidence described by my colleagues today … warrants a criminal referral of former President Donald J. Trump, John Eastman and others,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.

Eastman is a Republican who has voted in every local and statewide New Mexico election since November 2018.

“A criminal ‘referral’ from a congressional committee is not binding on the Department of Justice and carries no more legal weight than a “referral” from any American citizen,” the law firm Burnham & Gorokhov, PLLC, which is representing Eastman, said on it’s legal blog. “In fact, a ‘referral’ from the January 6th committee should carry a great deal less weight due to the absurdly partisan nature of the process that produced it.”

He has been brought up several times during the course of the House committee’s year-and-a-half-long investigation into the Capitol attack. Previous testimony and documents released by the committee accused Eastman of requesting a presidential pardon from Trump for post-election activities.

In June, FBI agents seized Eastman’s iPhone, according to a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque by attorneys for Eastman. And, in August, a New Mexico state judge ordered him to appear before a special grand jury in Georgia as part of a separate investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The referral essentially amounts to the committee asking the Department of Justice to investigate Trump and Eastman for potential crimes. It would fall on federal prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges against the men.

A 154-page executive summary to the committee’s full investigation was released Monday. The summary mentions Eastman 166 times.

“As January 6th approached, John Eastman and others devised a plan whereby Vice President (Mike) Pence would, as the presiding officer, declare that certain electoral votes from certain States could not be counted at the joint session,” the summary states. “John Eastman knew before proposing this plan that it was not legal.”

At one point, the summary references a “blunt” conversation between Eastman and Eric Herschmann, a White House lawyer, about the idea that the vice president had the authority to influence the outcome of the election, which was referred to in the document as “Eastman’s plan.”

Herschman is quoted as asking Eastman “are you out of your F’ing mind” and telling Eastman, “You’re completely crazy,” according to the report summary.

The summary also links Eastman to a scheme to have seven states, including New Mexico, send “dual slates of electors to the President of the Senate” and have those electors cast their votes for Trump. The report refers to Eastman as “an attorney central to the Electoral College election theories to overturn the results of the election.”

The committee’s full report on its investigation is expected to be released later this week.

“We trust that the Department of Justice will be able to form a far more complete picture based on its investigation,” Raskin said.

The law firm representing Eastman called the committees work a “pretend criminal case.”

“At its inception, the January 6th committee had the resources and mandate to make important contributions in the area of Capitol Security, Electoral Count Act Reform and other areas of potential legislation. Sadly, this opportunity has been squandered in favor of concocting a pretend ‘criminal case’ from pretend prosecutors designed to create political advantage for the Democratic Party and stigmatize disfavored political groups,” Eastman’s lawyers said. “The American people have been ill-served by the January 6th committee and its members.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a statement from Eastman’s attorneys.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Jan. 6 committee: Trump’s New Mexico lawyer John Eastman referred for prosecution

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
'Early Show with Alax': In new program, an alien ...
ABQnews Seeker
The state's Early Childhood Education Department ... The state's Early Childhood Education Department is producing a program designed to inform families with little ones. Here's how to watch.
2
Stansbury votes on crutches after breaking foot
ABQnews Seeker
Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury cast votes on ... Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury cast votes on the House floor Thursday on crutches. The New Mexico Democrat for more than a week has been walking ...
3
Legislative proposal aims to amplify NM arts economy
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico would establish a new ... New Mexico would establish a new economic development agency — backed by $67 million in state funds — to support artists and creative entrepreneurs ...
4
Blvck Hippie brings rhythmic riffs and deep lyrics to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Blvck Hippie is set to share ... Blvck Hippie is set to share experiences and moments with the Albuquerque crowd.
5
New public safety council to address organized retail crime ...
ABQnews Seeker
SANTA FE - Citing concerns about ... SANTA FE - Citing concerns about organized retail crime, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced ...
6
Threats over high natural gas bills shutter Deming City ...
ABQnews Seeker
The city of Deming's municipal offices ... The city of Deming's municipal offices were abruptly closed to the public Wednesday morning in response to threats against city staff after shockingly high ...
7
Pojoaque alums present anti-pest product on ABC reality show ...
ABQnews Seeker
At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, ... At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, the Pojoaque High School alums will take their product called Slick Barrier to "Shark TanK,", which airs on ...
8
New Mexico tax unit leader believed to have stolen ...
ABQnews Seeker
George Martinez was sentenced to 8 ... George Martinez was sentenced to 8 years in prison and will be ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution. However, prosecutors say ...
9
Bernalillo County identifies two who died in jail this ...
ABQnews Seeker
The two people who died in ... The two people who died in custody of the Metropolitan Detention Center within 10 days of one another this month have been identified as ...
10
New public safety council to address organized retail crime ...
ABQnews Seeker
SANTA FE - Citing concerns about ... SANTA FE - Citing concerns about organized retail crime, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced ...