Emails Show Trump Team Was Counting on Thomas

Eastman agreed in newly released emails discussing overturning election results
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2022 5:50 PM CDT
Trump Lawyers Said Thomas Was Their Best Hope for Jan. 6
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait on Oct. 7.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Emails to and from lawyers for then-President Donald Trump show they thought the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election depended on the help of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. A federal judge in California ordered that the eight emails be released, the Washington Post reports. The discussion, which included John Eastman and others, centered on persuading Republican members of Congress to fight the official certification of President Biden's victory on Jan. 6, 2021. A message sent by Kenneth Chesebro to several others said, "Realistically, our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress, is from Thomas—do you agree, Prof. Eastman?"

Thomas handles emergency petitions from the circuit court that includes Georgia for the Supreme Court. Thomas and Eastman did not immediately respond the Post's requests for comment Wednesday. Hours after Chesebro's email was sent, Eastman replied, "I think I agree with this," per Politico. Eastman added that a supportive action by Thomas or other members of the court would "kick the Georgia legislature into gear" to help in the Trump effort to overturn the election results. Eastman had fought the release of the emails to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, saying they were protected by attorney-client privilege; the judge called them evidence of probable crimes committed by Eastman and Trump. Saying the courts lack courage, Chesebro emailed the group on Dec. 24 to say the chances of receiving a favorable decision in time were "only 1 percent." (More Clarence Thomas stories.)

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