Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer described Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “key” to Trump’s plan to delay congressional confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory through litigation after the 2020 election, according to emails recently released to a select committee. of the House of Representatives investigating January. 6.
“We want to frame things so that Thomas can be the one to issue” a temporary order putting Georgia’s results in doubt, Trump attorney Kenneth Chesbrough wrote in a Dec. 31, 2020, email, adding that a positive order from Thomas is “the only their. chance” to delay Congress from counting electoral votes for Biden of Georgia.
John Eastman, another Trump lawyer, responded to that email and said he agreed with the plan. In the email exchange with several other lawyers who worked on Trump’s legal team, they discussed filing a lawsuit they hoped would result in an order that “tentatively” ruled that Biden’s Georgia electoral votes were invalid due to election fraud.
The case pending before the Supreme Court, Chesbrough wrote, would be enough to prevent the Senate from counting Biden’s electors. Thomas will end up being “the key here,” Chesbrough wrote, noting that Thomas is the judge assigned to handle emergency cases coming from the southeastern part of the state.
The email referring to Thomas was first reported by Politico. It’s part of a batch of emails the House obtained from Eastman, under a court order, that are still being litigated before an appeals court. The emails were made available through a link in a court filing filed by a House committee early Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter previously ruled that the emails show evidence of potential criminal activity in Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss, and found that the Trump team was using the litigation not to obtain court relief but to interfere in congressional proceedings. Carter, in a ruling last month that there to release the emails to the house committee, he said that some of them showed evidence of obstructing an official procedure.
Chesbro wrote in one of the newly available emails that if the legal team could get a case pending before the Supreme Court by Jan. 5, “ideally with something positive written by a judge or a judge, hopefully Thomas,” it was “to the best of their ability.” to hold the count of a state in Congress.”
In a separate email, Chesbrough acknowledged that their plans were a long shot, putting the odds of success in the Supreme Court before congressional approval on Jan. 6 at “1 percent.”
But, he wrote, “a lot can happen in the remaining 13 days,” and the scrutiny of several states’ election results in state courts and legislatures could strengthen the push to expand congressional debate on confirming the results.
“The public can also walk away” believing that the elections, especially in Wisconsin, were likely “rigged,” Chesbro wrote.
In an email two days later, Chesbrough said Georgia is “in the game” for a Supreme Court case that could be “critical.” Chesbrough speculated that if there was a case in Georgia pending before the Supreme Court, Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to open any of the envelopes recording the state’s electoral votes during the Jan. 6 proceedings.
Such a move by Pence would force the court to act on the petitions, Chesbrough said. “Trump and Pence have procedural options available to them as of January 6th that could create further delay, and could also put pressure on the court to act,” Chesbrough wrote.
House Counsel Doug Letter told the appeals court Wednesday afternoon — where Eastman is still seeking help to recover the eight emails — that the inclusion of a publicly available link to the files was inadvertent.
According to the newly available emails, Trump’s lawyers were so concerned that he would submit a signed statement to the court making false claims of election fraud that they feared he might face a felony charge.
Eastman raised the issue in an email on December 31, 2020, as Trump’s lawyers planned to file a motion in federal court to challenge the election results. Trump made notarizations in the file that the facts presented were correct to the best of his knowledge, but both he and his lawyers knew the data they used in the file was misleading, according to another email.
In a recent decision, Carter said he believed the exchanges were possible evidence of a fraud 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 of this on December 1, he has since learned that some of the allegations (and the evidence offered by the experts) were inaccurate,” Eastman wrote to two other lawyers on December 31, 2020. ) will not be accurate. And I have no doubt that an aggressive report or the US attorney will go somewhere after the president and also his lawyers once all the dust settles on this.”
Eastman also wrote that White House counsel and lawyer Eric Hershman had “concerns about the president signing off on verification when specific numbers were included” about the votes. He was particularly concerned about numbers suggesting that felons, dead people and people who had passed voted incorrectly, another email from Eastman showed.
While the lawyers were in discussions, Trump was on the run, back at the White House, and was to confer with Hershman about signing the verification, another email from Eastman on Dec. 31 said.
“I’m going to work with Eric beforehand to clear everything up,” Eastman wrote.
He and other private lawyers then discussed changing the authentication for Trump to sign. But there was no White House notary to witness Trump’s signature until after the new year, the emails show. “A presidential trip to the UPS store?” Another lawyer, wrote Christopher Gardner.
Election lawyers Kelta Mitchell and Alex Kaufman then suggested using a notary on Zoom — instead of having Trump sign the document with language “under penalty of perjury,” according to the emails.
This story has been updated with additional details.