Trump Adviser Says 11K Pages of Emails Ineligible for Jan. 6 Panel Review

An ally of former President Donald Trump is seeking to withhold over 11,000 pages of emails from the U.S. House of Representatives' January 6 committee.

Attorney John Eastman, who wrote two memos outlining Trump's strategy to allegedly subvert the 2020 presidential election, was ordered by a court to review 94,000 emails related to last year's attack on the Capitol, The Hill reported. So far, he has reviewed about 46,000 and on Monday made a court filing looking to shield 11,000 of them due to "attorney client or attorney work-product privileges," according to Politico, causing concern over whether information "critical" to the investigation is not being shared.

Specifically, the House committee asked Eastman to review emails giving more information on his attorney-client relationship with Trump and on the state of the former president's 2020 reelection campaign in the last few weeks of the year, Politico reported. Eastman's Monday filing says that besides the 11,000 pages he wants withheld, about 27,000 more were withheld because they were standard mass emails like newsletters. He provided about 8,000 to the committee.

Because more than half of the emails are yet to be reviewed, the number of withheld emails is likely to increase as Eastman continues going through them. In January, U.S. District Court Judge James Carter ordered Eastman to review 1,500 pages per day and to keep a daily log of everything he is looking to withhold so the committee can decide whether to grant or reject the claims of attorney-client privilege, the Politico report added.

In a Friday court filing, House Counsel Doug Letter said Eastman's logs have not provided enough information for the committee to decide whether the attorney-client privilege assertions are valid, Politico reported.

"The Select Committee's urgent need for resolution of the privilege issues is heightened by the fact that Plaintiff has broadly claimed privileges over a vast swath of documents—many of which appear to be critical to the Select Committee's investigation," Letter wrote.

According to the American Bar, attorney-client privilege has a "crime-fraud" exception, which "allows disclosure of information communicated by the client in an attempt by the client to use the lawyer's services to commit or cover up a crime or fraud."

The January 6 committee is tasked with investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol. It looks into the facts, circumstances, and causes of the incident as well as "influencing factors" like "online platforms, financing, and malign foreign influence operations and campaigns" leading up to what it referred to as an event of "domestic terrorism."

Update 02/14/22 4:20 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information.

Donald Trump, Texas
A Donald Trump ally is looking to withhold about 11,000 emails from the January 6 House committee. Above, Trump pauses while speaking during his Save America rally at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on January 29 in Conroe, Texas. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images