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Trump's handwritten notes to flip election cited by his lawyer

Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Former President Donald Trump’s suggestions on how to flip the outcome of the 2020 election were jotted in handwritten notes to the law professor who was advising him on the effort, according to a court filing.

John Eastman, the former dean of Chapman University law school, said two handwritten notes from the former president contained “information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation,” according to the filing in federal court in Santa Ana, California.

Eastman is under scrutiny by a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. A judge in March ordered Eastman to turn over a trove of documents to the committee, saying they weren’t subject to attorney-client privilege because it was “more likely than not” that Trump had committed crimes.

In a filing late Thursday, Eastman stood by his contention that the 2020 election was stolen, saying the story line to the contrary pushed by the congressional committee and the mainstream media “is itself the actual big lie.”

“The mounting evidence about the scope of illegality and fraud in the 2020 election further undercuts any claim that the statements on that score made by Dr. Eastman and his client were made ‘corruptly’ or ‘dishonestly,’” according to the filing.

The committee is probing Trump’s actions and the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of the former president’s supporters stormed the House to disrupt the election’s certification proceedings.


Eastman is resisting turning over material, including the notes from Trump, on grounds it’s protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter previously concluded Trump launched a campaign to overturn the election with a plan that relied on legal guidance from Eastman.

Eastman said in the filing that the judge has privately seen evidence the election was rigged, but the former dean is forbidden from disclosing that material to the congressional committee because it would violate his obligation of confidentiality to Trump.

The case is Eastman v. Thompson, 22-cv-00099, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

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