I just plowed through the Dipshit Insurrection Committee’s response to John Eastman’s suit seeking to claim every privilege under the sun. What the filings in Eastman vs Thompson establish is that stupid “clients” lead to stupid lawyering. For a former law school dean, John Eastman is a remarkably bad lawyer whose own lawyers make weak arguments on his behalf.
I put the word “clients” in quotes because Eastman fails to establish attorney-client privilege with the Impeached Insult Comedian. There’s an unsigned written agreement between Eastman and Trump that clearly states that it only comes into effect if signed. It is not and Trump’s childish Sharpie scrawl is hard to miss.
The 1/6 select committee is attempting to gain access to Eastman’s emails. He was foolish enough to discuss the election conspiracy in detail in his emails; none of which went to Trump because he follows the Earl Long rules:
I doubt that the Kaiser of Chaos has even heard of the Earl of Louisiana. Uncle Earl’s rules, however, were also followed by these guys:
The terrible trio of dreadful dead dudes above: Gambino boss Big Paul Castellano, Genovese boss Fat Tony Salerno, and Sleazy Roy Cohn. Some mentors.
Back to Eastman’s emails. He stupidly used his Chapman University email address. That system provides no expectation of privacy and bans emails in support of ANY political candidate. There’s no Trump exception. Eastman is an entitled idiot who could have used Gmail if he wanted to make a confidentiality argument.
At every turn, former law school dean Eastman handled his communications in a way that waived any and all privilege. The stupid un-client (Trump) okayed the stupid un-lawyer’s conversations with third parties. Eastman even provided copies to Woodward and Costa for their book, Peril, which I am currently reading. How come nobody calls them Woodcos? Sure, it’s not as catchy as Woodstein but if the world has Bennifer and such why not Woodcos?
In the brief, the select committee’s lawyers conclusively rebut Eastman’s argument of attorney-client privilege. In fact, Eastman’s lawyers seem to be relying on white privilege, not attorney-client privilege. Oy just oy.
The excitement around the filing has centered on the committee’s recitation of possible crimes committed by Eastman, Rudy, and their un-client then President* Pennywise.
Here’s how my fellow lapsed lawyer David Kurtz summed it up at TPM:
Trump’s pressure campaign against Pence is probably the core of the legal case against Trump. It’s relatively simple and direct. It builds on the legal theories that DOJ has been successfully using to pursue the Jan. 6 rioters. It puts the events of Jan. 6 squarely at the center of the case, rather than say, Trump’s bad acts in Georgia and elsewhere.
But it’s not the entirety of the case. For example, there’s Trump’s dereliction of duty while the Jan. 6 attack was still underway. There may yet be things that happened after Jan. 6 before the inauguration that we’ll learn about. There were the specific state-level shenanigans that Trump was involved in.
Kurtz nails it. The Pence pressure campaign has been discussed ad nauseum by the principles including the Kaiser of Chaos. Looking at the reply brief, I was struck by how many of the footnotes involve Trump speeches, tweets, media reports, and books hot off the presses. If TFG could keep his big fat bazoo shut, there wouldn’t be a federal case against him. Big Paul, Fat Tony, and Sleazy Roy weep.
The crime alluded to is a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States. Here’s a description from the DOJ website:
The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added).
The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.
Conspiracy cases can be tricky but this one looks solid. The elements seem to be there because the conspirators operated openly. We know that former Attorney General Barr told Trump there was NO ELECTION FRAUD. That goes to intent. The overt acts were the attempts both public and private to pressure Pence.
The penalties for this conspiracy are not onerous: five years imprisonment and fines. Conviction does not seem to bar a defendant from running for federal office as would charges of seditious conspiracy. That will be much harder to prove.
I hope that the committee has evidence of seditious conspiracy. Any charges against Trump that do not bar him from running for office may not be worth filing. There, I said it.
The Trump base feeds on grievances. Trump on trial would incite them to god only knows what atrocities as well as focusing the nation’s attention on yesterday’s man. It better be worth it.
I understand the desire to punish former President* Pennywise, his team of stupid lawyers, and even stupider supporters. I just want any charges to be worth the collateral political damage caused by trying a former president, which can be spun as banana republic shit by the GOP. Shorter Adrastos: Be careful what you wish for.
The last word goes to Earl King, Warren Zevon, and Genesis with three trick tunes: