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Emails sent from John Eastman's University of Colorado address sent to congressional investigators

Eastman, who was in DC and spoke at the rally ahead of the Capitol attack, used his CU email to reply to questions about Electoral College votes for president.

DENVER — A former lawyer for President Donald Trump used his University of Colorado (CU) email to try to help overturn the presidential election.

John Eastman is the former CU visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy. Some of his emails have now been sent to the January 6 congressional committee and shared with 9NEWS.

Among those emails are an exchange with a Republican Pennsylvania state lawmaker who sought advice on how to get Trump electors seated in a state that voted for Joe Biden to become president.

Colorado Ethics Institute, a self-described nonprofit for integrity and accountability, used Colorado's Open Records law to request email to and from Eastman's CU account. The group then sent those emails to the congressional commission investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Eastman, who was in Washington on January 6, 2021, and spoke at a rally ahead of the Capitol attack, used his "colorado.edu" email address to reply to emails from Diamond regarding alternate electors.

Credit: AP
FILE - Chapman University law professor John Eastman stands at left as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaks in Washington at a rally in support of President Donald Trump, called the "Save America Rally" on Jan. 6, 2021. The State Bar of California says it is investigating Eastman, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, for possibly breaking legal and ethical rules relating to the 2020 election. John Eastman is the former dean of the Chapman University law school in Southern California. He argued after the November 2020 election that former Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election and keep Trump in power. Pence refused to do that and Trump left office. But since then, Eastman has been subpoenaed by a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Diamond wrote on Dec. 4, 2020: "Here in Pennsylvania, numerous other frustrated colleagues and I are searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament."

That predicament was that Biden won Pennsylvania, but Diamond wanted a route to have Trump electors cast their Electoral College votes for president.

Eastman replied with edits to a resolution that Diamond wanted to introduce in the state legislature.

On Dec. 13, 2020, Eastman replied to another Diamond email writing: "Why not just assert the right to appoint an alternate slate of electors and have them meet and vote on Monday as well."

Eastman answered questions from 9NEWS in a phone call on Tuesday.

"I wasn't even aware that I had used a [University of] Colorado email, but somebody obviously reached out to me using that email and I just hit reply," said Eastman. "Look, I'm a Constitutional expert. The notion that a legislator would reach out to me seeking my input on a key constitutional issue is not a surprise and well within my normal academic duties."

He said that replying to someone like this was no different than any other faculty member replying to an email.

"That means it's no different than any other member of the faculty, weighing in [or] volunteering for a political campaign, whether it be Hillary's [Clinton] or [President] Joe Biden's or [Vice President] Kamala Harris' or whoever," said Eastman. "If they're volunteering and they're on their own time and they're not interfering with their university duties, that's quintessential First Amendment protected speech and activity."

On Dec. 9, 2020, Eastman used his Chapman University email address to write to Dan Jacobson, who was director of the Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, where Eastman was a visiting scholar. That email stated: "President Trump asked me to represent him in filing a motion to intervene in the pending litigation at the Supreme Court. Nothing on the pleading mentions Univ. of Colorado, but I wanted to give you a heads up anyway. It was just filed a few moments ago."

Eastman filed that motion to intervene in the Texas lawsuit that sought to block Biden presidential electors in four states, including Pennsylvania.

He said he notified the school because it was going to be public knowledge.

"Because it was going to be newsworthy and these things had become intentionally politicized, and therefore, controversial, and so I wanted them to be aware of it before they got blind-sided," said Eastman.

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According to Eastman, that was the first time he notified the university of his involvement with the president, but said he was not being paid for that work.

"I was volunteering for this effort. That's an exercise of First Amendment political rights, and I was doing it on my own time. So, there was no reason for me to have sought their permission of given them notice," said Eastman. "There is nothing in my contractual agreement -- now if I had taken it on as a paid representation, there are provisions under university policy that required me to, at least, give them notice and depending on the circumstances and the time commitment, seek permission, but that wasn't the case here."

He said he was paid for part of his work, but it was during winter break.

"I did get compensated, this is a matter of public record, for the Cert Petition that was filed in Pennsylvania, but that was after classes ended at CU and we were on Christmas Break," said Eastman.

A spokesperson told 9NEWS they were not aware of Eastman's emails advising Diamond until the open records request.

Eastman is seeking to sue CU for nearly $1.9 million for stripping him of his duties following his Capitol rally speech.

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