Clarence Thomas was “key” to a plan to delay certification of the 2020 election, Trump attorneys said in emails



An attorney for former President Donald Trump described Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “key” to Trump’s plan to delay confirmation of President Joe Biden’s congressional victory through post-election litigation, according to emails sent by the were recently handed over to the House Inquiry Committee on January 6.

“We want to make things so that Thomas can be the one to issue a temporary order” challenging Georgia’s findings, Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a Dec. 31, 2020 email, adding that a Thomas’ favorable order was their “only” chance” to prevent Congress from counting the electoral vote for Biden from Georgia.

John Eastman, another Trump attorney, responded to that email and said he agreed with the plan. In email exchanges with several other attorneys who worked on Trump’s legal team, they discussed filing a lawsuit that they hoped would result in an order that “TEMPORARILY” found that Biden’s voting votes from Georgia over election fraud were not valid.

A pending case in the Supreme Court, Chesebro wrote, would be enough to prevent the Senate from counting Biden’s voters. Thomas would end up “being the key here,” Chesebro wrote, noting that Thomas is the judge charged with handling emergencies from the Southeast.

The email relating to Thomas was first reported by Politico. It is part of a tranche of emails the House of Representatives received from Eastman by order of a court, which are still the subject of litigation in an appeals court. The emails were available through a link in a court filing filed by the House Committee early Wednesday.

US District Judge David O. Carter previously found that the emails contained evidence of potential criminal activity in Trump’s effort to reverse his election loss, noting that the Trump team used litigation not to seek appeals but to to interfere in the congressional process. Carter said last month when he decided the emails should be released to the House committee that some of them showed evidence of obstruction of an official process.

Chesebro wrote in one of the newly available emails that if the legal team could bring a case before the Supreme Court by Jan. 5, “ideally with something positive written by a judge or a judge, hopefully Thomas.” it was their “best chance to stop a state’s count in Congress.”

In a separate email, Chesebro acknowledged that her plans were far-fetched, putting her chances of success in the Supreme Court at “1%” ahead of Congressional certification Jan. 6.

But, he wrote, “a lot can happen in the remaining 13 days,” and if multiple state election results are reviewed in courts and state legislatures, it could bolster the push to expand congressional debate on confirming the results .

The “public might also get away” believing that the election, particularly in Wisconsin, was likely “rigged,” Chesebro wrote.

In an email two days later, Chesebro said that having Georgia “in play” on a Supreme Court filing could be “critical.” Chesebro speculated that if a case were pending in Georgia’s Supreme Court, Vice President Mike Pence might refuse to open a case over the envelopes documenting the state’s electoral votes during the Jan. 6 trial.

Such a move by Pence would force the court to consider the petitions, Chesebro said. “Trump and Pence have procedural options available to them beginning Jan. 6 that could result in additional delays and also put pressure on the court,” Chesebro wrote.

House General Counsel Doug Letter on Wednesday afternoon told the Court of Appeals — where Eastman is still asking for help to get the eight emails back — including a publicly available link to the files was unintentional.

According to the newly available emails, Trump’s lawyers were so concerned that he filed a signed statement in court alleging false allegations of voter fraud that they feared he could be prosecuted for a crime.

Eastman addressed the issue in an email on Dec. 31, 2020, as Trump’s attorneys planned to file a motion in federal court to challenge the election results. Trump had made notarized verifications in the case that the facts presented were true to the best of his knowledge, but both he and his attorneys knew the data they were using in the case was misleading, according to another email .

In a recent decision, Carter said he believes the swap is possible evidence of a post-election fraudulent scheme. Although he described this set of emails in an order last month, the full text of the exchange is now available.

“Although the President signed an acknowledgment to this as early as December 1, he has since been alerted that some of the allegations (and evidence presented by the experts) were inaccurate,” Eastman wrote to two other attorneys on December 31, 2020. It would not be correct for him to sign a new acknowledgment knowing this (and incorporating it by reference). And I have no doubt that once the dust settles, an aggressive prosecutor or US attorney somewhere would go after both the President and his attorneys.”

Eastman also wrote that White House aide and attorney Eric Herschmann had “concerns about the President signing an acknowledgment when certain numbers are included” regarding the votes cast. He was particularly concerned about numbers that suggested criminals, dead people and people who had moved hadn’t voted correctly, another email from Eastman showed.

At the time the attorneys were holding talks, Trump was on the run, returning to the White House and scheduled to consult with Herschmann about signing the endorsement, Eastman said in another Dec. 31 email.

“I’ll be working with Eric ahead of time to sort everything out,” Eastman wrote.

He and other private attorneys then discussed changing the review for Trump to sign. But there was no notary in the White House who could witness Trump’s signing until after the New Year, the emails show. “President’s trip to a UPS store?” another attorney wrote Christopher Gardner.

Election attorneys Cleta Mitchell and Alex Kaufman then suggested using a notary through Zoom — rather than having Trump sign the document using language “under penalty of perjury,” the emails said.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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