John Eastman, a lawyer who represented Donald Trump following the president’s 2020 election loss, used his University of Colorado email account while serving as a visiting professor in Boulder to advise a Pennsylvania lawmaker on how to challenge that state’s electors, according to records submitted to Congress.
The selection of messages to and from Eastman’s CU Boulder email account was obtained by The Denver Post after a Democratic political consultant sent them on behalf of the Colorado Ethics Institute to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Eastman, CU Boulder’s visiting professor of conservative thought and policy during the 2020-2021 academic year, has come under increasing scrutiny for his role in advising Trump on how to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. A federal judge in California ruled in March that Trump and Eastman likely committed crimes in their efforts to overturn the election.
In addition to demonstrating how Eastman advised Pennsylvania state Rep. Russ Diamond on challenging that state’s results, the emails show CU Boulder reimbursed Eastman for around $500 for a trip he took to Philadelphia shortly after the November 2020 election to participate in an academic conference put on by his department, the Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization.
It was during that visit to Philadelphia that Eastman’s role in advising Trump on how to remain in office began, The New York Times reported last year. Eastman was in town for an academic conference, the newspaper reported, when he met with Trump’s team at a hotel as they were putting together a legal brief to challenge the election results in Pennsylvania. Eastman told the Times he was only in the room for 15 minutes — “long enough, he said, for him to catch COVID-19 there,” the newspaper reported.
Eastman could not be reached by The Post for comment Monday. He previously has defended his actions in advising Trump, and has threatened to sue CU for what he characterizes as retaliation “for constitutionally protected First Amendment activities.”
The Jan. 6 committee has not contacted the university about Eastman, CU Boulder spokesman Andrew Sorensen said Monday.
When asked about the emails submitted to the committee, Sorensen noted that CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano made his thoughts about Eastman clear the day after the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. “His continued advocacy of conspiracy theories is repugnant,” DiStefano said of Eastman last year.
Eastman, who spoke at Trump’s rally before the attack on the Capitol, was relieved of his public-facing duties following Jan. 6 and is no longer affiliated with the university.
Sorenson confirmed in an email that “Eastman was reimbursed for a conference visit in Nov. 2020. Any other activity was on his personal time.”
The emails submitted to the Jan. 6 committee were obtained via a Colorado Open Records Act request submitted to the university by the Colorado Ethics Institute, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “working to ensure public officials comply with ethics codes, transparency rules and their oaths of office,” according to the group’s website.
The organization highlighted findings from Eastman’s emails and expenditures and included them in a memo dated April 19 that was addressed and sent to the Jan. 6 committee.
The memo, written by the institute’s Curtis Hubbard, a Democratic political consultant and partner with OnSight Public Affairs, noted that the public conversation around Eastman’s involvement with the Trump campaign has included Eastman’s faculty position at Chapman University and his emails from his account there — but that Eastman also used his CU email account to communicate about the 2020 election.
“To the best of my knowledge, these communications from Eastman’s CU Boulder email account have not been previously disclosed to the Select Committee,” Hubbard wrote. “In order to compile the most complete record of his activities possible, you would be well-advised to thoroughly review the attached, to request and review all communications sent to and from Eastman during his tenure at CU Boulder, and to review the contents of his university-issued computer.”
Some of the emails from Eastman’s CU Boulder account that were turned over to the committee included exchanges in which Eastman advised Diamond on how to challenge his state’s presidential electors. In the emails, Eastman offered edits to legislative resolutions and suggested ways in which Pennsylvania lawmakers could seat an alternate set of electors after Joe Biden won the state — and with it, the presidency — in the 2020 election.
In one message, Eastman wrote to Diamond, who had just co-sponsored a resolution challenging Pennsylvania’s election results, that, “I did not watch the hearings that were held, but I suspect they contained ample evidence of sufficient anomalies and illegal votes to have turned the election from Trump to Biden.”
In another email, Diamond introduced Pennsylvania Republican House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff to Eastman with the following: “Kerry, Dr. Eastman is responsible for opening my eyes to our ability to exercise our plenary authority to decertify presidential electors (without ANY ‘evidence’ of retail ‘voter fraud’) …”
All challenges to Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results were rejected by the courts, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court, which repeatedly declined to intervene in cases involving that state’s vote count.
Hubbard confirmed the authenticity of the memo to the Jan. 6 committee and urged CU and its Board of Regents to conduct a fuller investigation into Eastman’s conduct while he was affiliated with the university.
“They owe it to Coloradans to conduct a thorough audit of Eastman’s CU tenure to determine the school’s connection — wittingly or unwittingly — to one of the darkest days in the history of this country,” Hubbard said in a statement to The Post. “That should include detailed reviews of his communications, grants and use of university resources; whether he upheld his required oath to defend the constitution of the United States; and what steps could or should be taken to avoid this type of situation in the future.”
Source: Read Full Article