WASHINGTON — Lawyers who helped former President Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election results considered an appeal to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “key” to their chances of success, according to emails provided to congressional investigators and released Wednesday.
The Dec. 31, 2020, email exchange shows the attorneys discussing ways to delay certification of results in Georgia, a tightly contested state won by Democrat Joe Biden. A lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, suggested that an appeal to Thomas, as the judge who handles Georgia’s emergency appeals, could “end up being key here.”
“We want to frame things so that Thomas can be the one to issue some kind of stay or other circuit court opinion saying Georgia is in justifiable doubt,” Chesebro wrote. “In reality, our only chance of getting a favorable court opinion by Jan. 6, which could delay Georgia’s count in Congress, is with Thomas.”
Another lawyer, John Eastman, replied that he agreed, saying that if Thomas were to act, “it might be enough to get the Georgia legislature going because I’ve had a lot of calls from them. indicating that they lean”. in this way.”
Ultimately, the Supreme Court ended up rejecting several Republican requests to intervene in the election and overturn the results.
The emails were leaked to congressional investigators in a long-running lawsuit involving Eastman, a conservative lawyer and architect of Trump’s latest efforts to stay in power, and the House committee investigating the insurgency. January 6 at the US Capitol.
Eastman, a former Thomas lawyer, attempted to withhold documents from the committee based on claims of attorney-client privilege. The committee argued that there is a legal exception allowing the disclosure of communications regarding ongoing or future crimes. U.S. District Court Judge David Carter, who is overseeing the case, mostly agreed, ordering the release of hundreds of emails to the House committee since the spring.
The emails were published by Politico. Their authenticity was confirmed by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Chesebro did not immediately return a text message seeking comment. An attorney for Eastman also did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Thomas’ wife, Virginia, was questioned by the panel in September as she argued the false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
Last June, Eastman posted on her blog a December 4, 2020 email from Virginia Thomas in which she asked for an update on the status of a group she described as “state leaders of base”.
“OMG, Ms. Thomas asked me to provide an update on the election dispute to her group. Stop the presses! the title on the blog post reads.
Eastman also said he never discussed with Thomas “any issues that are pending or likely to come before the Court.”
Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri and Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the January 6 uprising at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege