DENVER — A former visiting professor at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and the newly hired attorney for the Colorado Republican Party is a co-conspirator listed in the newest indictment against former President Donald Trump, his lawyer said.
John Eastman is not identified by name in Tuesday’s indictment related to allegations of interference with the 2020 election, though his attorney confirmed to NBC News that Eastman is “co-conspirator 2.” That person is described in the documents as “an attorney who devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President's ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election.”
The indictment recounts the lead-up to January 6, 2021, and the plans made to keep Trump in power.
Most notably, in the weeks before the 2020 election was due to be certified for now President Joe Biden, Eastman authored a six-point memo outlining a scenario in which then-Vice President Mike Pence could keep Trump in office. His plan essentially called for Pence to reject electoral votes from seven states, meaning there would not be enough electors to certify the election for Biden.
In a meeting days before the insurrection, Pence challenged Eastman’s strategy, which also drew ire from another attorney with the Trump administration.
“They’re not going to tolerate it. You’re going to cause riots in the streets,” Eric Herschmann testified to the Jan. 6 Congressional committee as having told Eastman.
As previously reported by 9NEWS, Eastman used his CU email address to discuss keeping Trump in office when he was a visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy.
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 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
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.
"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," Eastman told 9NEWS last year. "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.
Eastman, who has not been criminally charged, is currently at risk of losing his law license in California. Though, just this week, he filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Colorado Republican Party, trying to keep Colorado's unaffiliated voters out of GOP primaries.
This article includes previous reporting from 9NEWS political reporter Marshall Zelinger.
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