Jan. 6 committee subpoenas former CU visiting scholar John Eastman

By: - November 10, 2021 9:47 am

John Eastman is seen on June 4, 2013, as the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage testifying during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection this week issued a subpoena to John Eastman, a former visiting scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder.

A letter that the committee sent to Eastman as part of the subpoena says its “investigation and public reports have revealed credible evidence that you know about, and may have participated in, attempts to encourage the Vice President of the United States to reject the electors from several states or, at the very least, to delay the electoral college results to give states more time to submit different slates of electors.”

Eastman, a lawyer working with then-President Donald Trump, wrote a memo that outlined how Vice President Mike Pence could block the certification of electoral votes, a process that Pence oversaw on Jan. 6 and which insurrectionist Trump supporters temporarily disrupted when they stormed the Capitol. The memo was part of the overall effort by Trump and his supporters to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory, which Trump erroneously has said was fraudulent.


Eastman spoke at the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. “We know there was fraud,” Eastman said before those gathered about the November 2020 election. 

At the time, Eastman was the visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy at CU Boulder, a position offered through the school’s Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. Following the insurrection, the school canceled his classes. He has since vacated the position, which is offered to scholars on a temporary basis.

The Jan. 6 committee on Monday also issued subpoenas to William Stepien, Jason Miller, Angela McCallum, Michael Flynn and Bernard Kerik. Eastman and Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, participated in a “command center” at the Willard hotel in Washington, D.C., in the days before the insurrection, according to The Washington Post. Trump supporters in the command center reportedly worked to overthrow the election.  

The committee’s letter to Eastman cites a report that on Jan. 2 he participated in a briefing for about 300 state legislators, whom he exhorted to “fix this” and not allow Biden to assume office. The letter also refers to a Washington Post story that reports Eastman, during the insurrection, as the vice president hid from attackers, emailed Pence aide Greg Jacob and said, “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.”

The committee gave Eastman until Nov. 22 to produce requested documents and ordered him to appear for a deposition on Dec. 8.


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