Politics Trump-allied lawyer says he'll take the Fifth with Jan. 6 committee

04:36  04 december  2021
04:36  04 december  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Lawyer and Trump advisor John Eastman 'asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself,' his lawyer said in a letter to the House select Jan . 6 th Committee . 6 th committee his client is asserting his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Lawyer Charles Burnham revealed the extraordinary information in a letter to panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), in a week that saw another Trump loyalist, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, indicating he planned to take the Fifth .

The House select committee investigating the Jan . 6 Capitol attack plans to move forward Wednesday with criminal contempt proceedings against a former DOJ official. 6 committee . Mr. Clark has agreed to do so," Thompson said . Raffensperger was the target of a pressure campaign from then-President Trump and his aides and allies last year over the results of the presidential election in

John Eastman, the lawyer who wrote memos arguing then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election, said he plans on invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

  Trump-allied lawyer says he'll take the Fifth with Jan. 6 committee © Provided by NBC News

The committee has subpoenaed Eastman to turn over documents and appear for a deposition on Dec. 8.

In an interview Thursday with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Eastman called the committee "a farce" and suggested he might not appear for his deposition.

"My legal team put together a legal letter responding to the subpoena request explaining all the reasons why I was going to assert my privileges under the Fifth Amendment not to come testify, not to produce all these documents," Eastman told Bannon's "War Room" podcast.

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Jan . 6 committee standoffs pose new tests for post- Trump Justice Department. Brand, the former House lawyer , said all the legal fights surrounding Jan . He also said it seems reasonable for Clark to at least consider taking the Fifth . But he said the intensity of the political fights surrounding the department has changed since Garland’s earlier days as a prosecutor — shifting the climate in which

“But if he ’s saying ‘Okay, I’ ll come, but I’ ll plead the Fifth ’ then in some instances that says you’re The head of the Jan 6 Committee says if you exercise your Constitutional rights you are a criminal. Thompson noted that he ’s aware of the incoming Fifth Amendment privileges that Clark will invoke Get the latest news and take the ride with us as we fight false narratives against conservatives and

If Eastman does not appear for his deposition, he would be following in the footsteps of Bannon, who's since been hit with federal misdemeanor charges of contempt of Congress. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.

The Dec. 1 letter from Eastman's attorney, Charles Burnham, was first reported by the National Pulse website and later obtained by Politico as well.

In the letter, Burnham writes that "Eastman hereby asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself in response to your subpoena" because of concerns "that any statements he makes pursuant to this subpoena will be used in an attempt to mount a criminal investigation against him."

"While Dr. Eastman emphatically denies committing any illegal acts, he nonetheless has a reasonable fear that the requested information could be used against him in court," Burnham says in his letter, which also questions the panel's authority to issue subpoenas and says the ones issued to Eastman are overbroad.

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The Marxists on the January 6 committee have subpoenaed Trump associates in an ongoing harassment campaign. “But you know, if you say you haven’t done anything wrong but on the other hand you want to assert the Fifth Amendment in terms of self-prosecution, it says that you have something to hide. So we’re going to give him an opportunity to do it.” “ He can do it and it will be under oath and he is still subject to certain penalties should he decide to not tell us anything,” Thompson added.

The House Jan . 6 committee is investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters tried to stop Congress certifying the results of the 2020 election. As former chief of staff, he is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump 's moves in the run up to Jan . 6 and the events on the day. Members of the committee turned up the heat at the weekend, suggesting charges might be imminent. Thompson said the committee expected all witnesses to provide the information requested.

Burnham did not respond to a request for comment and NBC News has not independently verified the letter. NBC News has also reached out to the Jan. 6 committee.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote in a Nov. 8 letter to Eastman that his "documents and testimony are directly relevant to the Select Committee's investigation, as you appear to have been instrumental in advising President Trump that Vice President Pence could determine which electors were recognized on January 6, a view that many of those who attacked the Capitol apparently also shared."

According to the committee, Eastman briefed nearly 300 state legislators about the voter fraud claims and is alleged to have told the group to "make sure that we're not putting in the White House some guy that didn't get elected."

Eastman told Bannon this week that the subpoena demands are a "far reaching intrusion."

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Former Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) official Jeffrey Clark has secured a delay for his deposition, initially scheduled for Saturday, due to a medical issue, postponing his effort to plead the Fifth Amendment and avoid criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress. The move delays the House committee investigating the Jan . The move delays the House committee investigating the Jan . 6 attack on the Capitol as it was poised to forward a resolution to censure Clark for failure to comply with a subpoena.

Michael Cohen, Trump 's longtime personal attorney, said in a court filing that he will take the Fifth Amendment in a California legal case brought by the porn star. Move means that he would incriminate himself if he gave evidence in the case. Avenatti said he believes the government has evidence that Cohen was in touch until recently with Keith Davidson, the former attorney for Daniels who negotiated the 0,000 non-disclosure agreement. ‘There’s substantial reason to believe that these two attorneys were continuing to communicate with one another well into this year about my client, the settlement

“I was subpoenaed to come testify to the Jan. 6 committee, but also to produce documents, communications spanning a period of 19 months, everything I’ve every written or said or communicated to anyone about election integrity, including my contact lists,” he told Bannon.

Eastman is the second subpoenaed witness to say he'll invoke the Fifth Amendment. Earlier this week, an attorney for Jeffrey Clark, a former top Justice Department official who was pushing then-President Donald Trump's baseless election fraud claims, said he planned to take the Fifth when he's deposed by the committee.

Clark initially refused to answer any of the committee's questions when he first appeared before the panel last month, claiming executive privilege.

His attorney's offer for him to testify again while invoking the Fifth came the night before the committee was scheduled to vote on whether to advance a measure saying he should be referred to the Justice Department for contempt of Congress. The committee voted to proceed with the referral, but said it would not be finalized if he cooperated in his next deposition.

Clark was scheduled to be deposed again on Saturday, but the committee announced Friday night that the deposition had been postponed until Dec. 16 after Clark notified the panel about a medical condition preventing him from appearing on Saturday.

"Chairman Thompson wishes Mr. Clark well,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement.

Trump Can Win the Jan. 6 War Even if He Loses the Legal Battle .
From his faux Resolute Desk at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump can still wield a wrecking ball that damages the congressional investigation of the insurrection—even if he loses his ongoing battle in the nation’s highest courts. Lawyers widely expect Trump will, indeed, fail at his attempt to assert “residual” executive privilege to keep damning documents shielded from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. But constitutional scholars warn that judges appear poised to give him a slight opening that could severely delay congressional investigators and give resistant witnesses legal ammunition in their own court fights.

usr: 1
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