A lawyer for former President Donald Trump described the Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas as ‘key’ to Trump’s plan to delay congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory through litigation after the 2020 election, according to emails recently delivered to the House Select Committee investigating the 6 January.
“We want to frame things so that Thomas can be the one to issue” a temporary order questioning Georgia’s results, Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro said. written in an email dated December 31, 2020adding that a favorable order from Thomas was their “only chance” to stop Congress from counting electoral votes for Georgia’s Biden.
John Eastman, another Trump attorney, responded to that email saying he agreed with the plan. In email exchanges with several other attorneys working on Trump’s legal team, they were discussing the filing of a lawsuit they hoped would result in an order that “ATTENTIVELY” considered Biden’s Georgia electoral votes. were invalid due to electoral fraud.
Having a case pending in the Supreme Court, Chesebro wrote, would be enough to prevent the Senate from counting Biden voters. Thomas would end up being “the key here,” Chesebro wrote, noting that Thomas is the judge handling emergency cases from the southeast of the country.
The email referring to Thomas was first reported by Politics. It is one of a series of emails the House obtained from Eastman, pursuant to a court order, that are still the subject of litigation in an appeals court. The emails were available via a link in a court filing submitted by the House committee early Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter previously determined that the emails showed evidence of potential criminal activity in Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss, concluding that the Trump team was using the litigation not to seek legal relief but to interfere in the proceedings of Congress. Carter, in ruling last month that the emails should be released to the House committee, said some of them showed evidence of obstruction of official process.
Chesebro written in one newly available emails that if the legal team could just get a pending Supreme Court case by January 5, “ideally with something positive written by a judge or a judge, hopefully Thomas” , that it was their “best shot at delaying a state’s count in Congress.
In a separate email, Chesebro acknowledged their plans were long, putting the odds of success in the Supreme Court ahead of Congressional certification on Jan. 6 at “1%.”
But, he wrote, “much can happen in the remaining 13 days,” and having multiple state election results considered by state courts and legislatures could bolster efforts to extend the congressional debate on the certification of results.
The “public might also walk away” thinking the election, especially in Wisconsin, was likely “rigged,” Chesebro wrote.
In an email two days later, Chesebro said having Georgia “at stake” on a Supreme Court case could be “critical.” Chesebro speculated that if there was a Georgia case pending in the Supreme Court, Vice President Mike Pence might refuse to file a case one of the envelopes documenting the state’s electoral votes during the procedure of January 6.
Such a move by Pence would force the court to act on the motions, Chesebro said. “Trump and Pence have procedural options available to them from January 6 that could create further delays and could also pressure the Court to act,” Chesebro wrote.
House General Counsel Doug Letter told the appeals court Wednesday afternoon — where Eastman is still asking for help recovering the eight emails — the inclusion of a publicly available link to the files was inadvertently.
According to the newly available emails, Trump’s attorneys were so concerned about him filing a signed statement in court alleging false allegations of voter fraud that they feared he could be prosecuted for a crime.
Eastman raised the question in an email on December 31, 2020, as Trump’s lawyers planned to file in federal court challenging the election result. Trump had made notarized checks in the event that the facts presented were true to the best of his knowledge, but he and his attorneys knew the data they were using in the case was misleading, according to another email.
In a recent decision, Carter said he believed the exchanges were possible evidence of a fraudulent scheme after the 2020 election. Although he described this set of emails in an order last month, the full text of the exchanges is now available.
“Although the President signed a verification to that effect on December 1, he has since been advised that some of the allegations (and evidence presented by the experts) were inaccurate,” Eastman wrote to two other attorneys on December 31, 2020. “For him to sign a new verification with this knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate. And I have no doubt that some aggressive DA or US Attorney somewhere will go after both the President and his lawyers once all the dust settles on this.
Eastman also wrote that a White House adviser and attorney, Eric Herschmann, had “concerned about the president signing off on verification when specific numbers were included” regarding the votes cast. He was particularly concerned about figures that implicated criminals, deceased people and people who had moved away who had voted improperly, another email from Eastman showed.
At the time the lawyers were in discussion, Trump was on the run, returning to the White House, and was about to consult with Herschmann about signing the check, said another December 31 email from Eastman. .
“I’ll work with Eric ahead of time to get everything clear,” Eastman wrote.
He and other private attorneys then discussed changing the verification for Trump to sign. But there were no notaries around the White House to witness Trump’s signing before the new year, the emails show. “Presidential trip to a UPS store?” another attorney, Christopher Gardner wrote.
Election lawyers Cleta Mitchell and Alex Kaufman then suggested using a notary public on zoom — instead of having Trump sign the document with the language “under penalty of perjury,” according to the emails.
This story has been updated with additional details.