Trump Adviser Eastman Drops Jan. 6 Panel Suit Over Phone Records




 

(Bloomberg) -- A conservative lawyer who advised former president Donald Trump on ways to overturn the 2020 election dropped his lawsuit challenging the release of his phone records to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

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John Eastman, a former professor at Chapman University School of Law, was seeking a court order prohibiting Verizon Communications Inc. from complying with a congressional subpoena demanding his phone and text data.

He drafted a two-page memo after the 2020 election that outlined ways for Vice President Mike Pence to derail the count of Electoral College votes in Congress on Jan. 6, thereby denying Joe Biden's clear victory and handing the election to Trump. He also spoke alongside Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani at a Jan. 6 rally that preceded the storming of the Capital.

Eastman was among a group of Republicans and Trump insiders who have fought demands for their cooperation in the Jan. 6 investigation.

He indicated in a court filing Tuesday that he was voluntarily dropping his claims over the phone records after the committee stated that it's not seeking any "privileged communications."

Still, it's a surprising development. Just this week, Eastman filed a lawsuit to force the government to return his mobile phone that he claims was taken by federal agents without justification outside a New Mexico restaurant on June 22.

Read More: Trump Lawyer Eastman Sues for Return of Phone Seized by FBI

It's unclear what connection, if any, the seizure of his phone has to do with Eastman dropping the suit. A judge in a related California case earlier ordered Eastman to give the committee hundreds of documents that he has asserted were protected by confidentiality rules.

In a separate related case, the House committee on Tuesday fired back at Kurt Olsen, a little-known lawyer who had multiple phone conversations with Trump on the day of the insurrection.

The committee's probe has revealed evidence that Olsen, who sued in March to block a subpoena for his testimony, promoted false claims that the election was fraudulent "and participated in attempts to disrupt or delay the certification of the election results," the lawmakers said in a request for dismissal of Olsen's suit.

"Indeed, Mr. Olsen continues to peddle debunked claims of election fraud in this very lawsuit, and his amended complaint goes so far as to ask this court to declare that there is 'credible evidence' of election fraud that altered the results of the 2020 Presidential election in key swing states," the committee said.

The committee said Olsen's documents and testimony "are plainly important" to understand "the factors that fomented the attack on the Capitol and the disruption of the peaceful transfer of power."

The case is Eastman v. Verizon, 21-cv-03273, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.

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