Attorneys for failed, one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump mocked their client’s lack of wealth in emails that are in the possession of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Those emails could prove incredibly damaging to the ex-president, his three oldest children, and the Trump Organization, according to a report from Mediaite.
Exaggerated or false claims of wealth have been a recurring theme of Trump’s public life, as well as the basis for a potentially devastating fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
They were also the subject of an email exchange between Trump attorney John Eastman and others on Trump’s legal team, according to a new filing by the January 6 Committee.
Eastman is claiming attorney-client privilege in an attempt to keep 562 documents hidden from the Jan. 6 panel, but a filing by the committee in the United States District Court for the Central District of California makes it clear that Eastman’s own emails are proof such privilege doesn’t exist.
“In his most recent privilege log, Dr. Eastman continues to offer conclusory descriptions insufficient to allow Congressional Defendants to accurately assess the validity of his privilege assertions,” committee counsel Douglas Letter wrote, adding, “Additionally, in camera review is necessary because Dr. Eastman’s prior representations have proven consistently unreliable.”
As proof, Letter noted:
As just one example, this Court previously addressed a photograph (Chapman025905, attached as Ex. A) that Dr. Eastman had described as a “handwritten note re issues for anticipated litigation,” but which turned out to be a photograph of a Trump campaign rally with a handwritten note stating: “TIMES 50 SUCH EVENTS – NO WAY THIS LOSES.”
Ex. A; see ECF No. 356 at 14 (“Although Dr. Eastman’s privilege log claims that the photo is President Trump’s ‘handwritten note re issues for anticipated litigation,’ the note simply celebrates the size of President Trump’s campaign rallies.”).
And then there’s an exchange between between Eastman and fellow attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Bruce Marks which mocks Trump for lying about his wealth.
CHESEBRO: Am at Trump Internat ona n NYC, so I’m fee ng extra nsp red to work on the Pres dent’s cases!!
MARKS: A shame you are not in DC and could contribute to violation of the emoluments clause. (smmiley-face emoji)
CHESEBRO: I m stay ng at Trump Int n DC from Jan 3 to at east the 8th. Do ng my part to curry favor w th the Pres dent by n ng h s (empty) pockets!
That led the committee to argue that attorney-client privilege has been broken by legal exceptions:
“Congressional Defendants therefore ask that the Court review these documents in camera to determine the validity of Dr. Eastman’s privilege assertions and the applicability of the limitations and exceptions considered in this Court’s prior orders, including waiver, compelling need, and crime-fraud,” they wrote.
The civil case brought by AG James could eventually lead to massive fines against Trump and his family-held company. It could also result in James seeking the so-called “corporate death penalty” in the Empire State that would lead to the complete dissolution of the Trump Organization and liquidation of any and all assets.