Eastman invoked Fifth Amendment ‘where appropriate’ in appearance before Georgia grand jury, lawyers say
Former Trump lawyer John Eastman invoked the Fifth Amendment “where appropriate” when he sat for a deposition on Wednesday before a Fulton County, Ga., grand jury investigating former President Trump’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election in the state.
Eastman’s firm Burnham & Gorokhov said in a statement they advised their client to remain silent and to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination when needed.
Attorneys Charles Burnham and Harvey Silverglate also slammed the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for setting itself “on an unprecedented path of criminalizing controversial or disfavored legal theories, possibly in hopes that the federal government will follow its lead.”
“Criminalization of unpopular legal theories is against every American tradition and would have ended the careers of John Adams, Ruth Ginsburg, Thurgood Marshall and many other now-celebrated American lawyers,” the statement reads. “We ask all interested observers of any political persuasion to join us in decrying this troubling development.”
Eastman is the latest Trump ally to testify in the Fulton probe centering on a call the former president made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021, in which he asked the elections official to “find” enough votes for him to undo now-President Biden’s victory in the state.
Raffensperger testified in the investigation this summer, as did former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another onetime Trump attorney.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is mired in a legal battle as he seeks to quash a subpoena forcing him to testify in the probe.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said on Monday that about 60 percent of the needed witnesses have testified so far.
Eastman was a key player in Trump’s orbit when the then-president sought to overturn the 2020 election results.
The conservative lawyer helped push a false theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence could reject states’ electors and effectively decide the next president himself.
Eastman was also subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and ordered by a court this summer to turn over documents related to that investigation.